Professional Confessional

A blog providing tips and resources for life after college

2013 April

TIP: Landed an internship! Now what?

You have been on the interview.  You received and accepted the offer.  You are excited to start your internship.  But wait, you are going to be a professional now.  You have so many questions about how to move from being a student to a professional.  We have employer guest contributors answering some of your questions.  You may want to think about how you want to make a favorable impression this summer.

Watch this video highlighting what Wake Forest employers say you should do to make a favorable impression during your internship.

To learn more, read further for details on making a favorable impression.

Julie Armstrong, Talent Management

As a summer intern, there are many things you can do to make yourself a standout, but I think that two things in particular are worth focusing on:

  1. The Quality of Your Work
  2. Your Professionalism

It is incredibly important to focus on producing excellent, high-quality work.  Since you’ve been hired (and as such, probably gone through a selection process), the organization and your manager expect that you’ll deliver results.  But going “above and beyond” is important to making a great impression: this means clarifying expectations for outcomes with your manager, paying close attention to detail (even the visual presentation of your work matters – you don’t want sloppiness to distract), and taking the initiative to go the extra mile.  This is a matter of thinking beyond the stated tasks for completion.  For example, is there something extra you can add to a report that would bring added value?  Being a “self-starter” is something employers are looking for.

Your professionalism – how you conduct yourself – is also very important to making a good impression.  For example, be polished and articulate in your verbal and written communication; come prepared to meetings; be dependable.  How you carry and present yourself at work will create an impression – one way or the other…make sure it is a good one!

And lastly: seek out Career Services!  The staff at the OPCD are incredibly knowledgeable – they can help prepare you for a successful internship!!

 

Lauren Dealexandris, Director of Intermodal Finance

The surest way to quickly establish credibility and a strong reputation at our company and within our department is to illustrate both relationship development and critical thinking skills. While showing an interest in learning the business and organization is the primary focus when first getting started, it is also critically important to be responsive, thoughtful, and engaged. Ask questions, meet with people, take ownership and show initiative. Challenging appropriately and solving problems with recommendations supported by facts leave an indelible mark. The basic, underlying ability to analyze information, think both tactically and strategically, and identify opportunities for improvement are characteristics that are difficult to teach yet make a significant difference.

 

Ashton Longest, Recruiter

In terms of making a favorable impression, attitude is key. We’ve selected our interns and new hires because they have the tangible skills necessary to succeed within the highly demanding, challenging realm of public accounting. They have the intellect, attention, technical skills and intuitive power required by this profession, but what really makes an intern or new hire stand out among their peers is their attitude. The individuals who come into Deloitte ready to tackle, and value the experience, of any task, no matter how menial or trivial it may seem, are the ones who truly impress our leaders. Displaying a positive, accommodating demeanor and attitude at all times is powerful and definitely does not go unnoticed. Someone who can truly appreciate each and every experience as a learning opportunity will rise quickly within our ranks.

 

Jessica Hensen, Recruiter

Successful interns have a strong intellectual curiosity and strive to gain a deep understanding of our business and culture.  They have a can-do attitude and are always willing to try new things.  Stand out interns don’t just wait for new projects and opportunities to be given to them, but rather they seek out new opportunities on their own.  Interns can bring a fresh perspective to business challenges, so they should feel comfortable giving their opinion and speaking up in meetings.  Confidence is an important attribute to have as an intern.  If there is an area of the company that you’re interested in, schedule time to speak with someone in that area to learn more.

 

Barbara Carter, Director of Talent Acquisition

The most important thing an intern or a new employee can do to stand out is to be “present” in the organization.  This means being on time for the job (better to be early) – this is a given.  Showing up late for work gives the perception that you really are not interested in the position.  Also being present by being engaged in the learning process by being attentive, asking questions and offering your ideas. Often interns spend more time trying to “network” to get the full-time job offer rather than concentrating on doing the job at hand.  If you do a good job and add value during your summer internship you are more likely to get the full time job offer.

 

Welcome to the Professional Confessional!

We are excited to launch this professional development blog providing tip, tools, and resources for arts and sciences undergraduates’ preparation for life after college.  Follow us on the journey to life after college whether you are seeking your first job, graduate school, or self-discovery with a gap year.  The blog will house special series featuring timely and relevant topics for student professional development.

This summer, the blog is launching its first series – TIPS – The Internship Professional Series.  The internship series will provide tips and advice from experts in the Office of Personal and Career Development, employers, and current student interns for success before, during, and after the internship.   You may be asking…What is professional development?  Why is it important?  I’m still in college, why are professional skills important to me now?

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