This is one in a series of posts, “The Intern Diaries” from Ed’s anonymous summer intern blogger.
As summer internships come to an end, you’re probably super busy checking off those NYC bucket list items. But this is also the perfect time to work on leave a lasting impression on your internship manager and the editors you work for.
Even if you aren’t looking to get hired at the company you’re interning at, you never know who your supervisors can connect you with or what publication they’ll end up at in the future. Hopefully you’re already on good terms with them, but here are a few tricks I’ve used to make sure my internship manager loves me before my time in NYC is done.
Be On Time (Or Early!)
This is an obvious one, but it really does wonders. Even if your boss is notoriously thirty minutes late, be on time—every single day. And make yourself useful in that time you have before she gets there. Being on time shows that you’re reliable and professional, and if your boss knows she can count on you, she will entrust you with larger responsibilities. This also applies to deadlines. Don’t be that intern that turns everything in at the last minute or late.
Although the workplace can often be stressful (see: crazy competitive), do your best to keep a positive attitude and to be courteous to all those around you (not just your boss). If you’re friendly, people—including your boss—will notice and want you around more. Though you should keep a very professional relationship with your supervisor, don’t be afraid to ask her how she’s doing or how her weekend was when appropriate.
While complaining about your internship to your managers is definitely a no no, if you have a serious concern about something going on in the office, speak up. Schedule a time to speak calmly and frankly with your internship manager. Hopefully she’ll appreciate your maturity.
If you have an idea for a way to improve something in your office or at your publication, let your supervisor know. Most offices will appreciate any new ideas, but just make sure you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes. Keep a list of ideas, go over them to make sure they’re truly good ones, and discuss them with your internship manager at an appropriate time. Go the extra mile wherever possible.
For example, if your boss asks you to write a short column, try formatting it in a new way. She may only use what she asked you for, or she may love it. Always have an idea or two in your back pocket in case someone asks for suggestions.
Your internship manager is likely a very busy person, and she is taking time out of her life and schedule to help guide you. Whether you realize it or not, they play a large role in your future, so make sure you thank them for that—often. A quick thank you in person or over email is sufficient for smaller things, but at the end of your internship I suggest a hand-written note sharing how grateful you are for the opportunity, and how much their mentorship meant to you.