Jodie Kaplan, Vice President of Media Relations and Branding

This time of year, many college students are getting ready to start their summer internships.  It’s an exciting time, as they will get a taste of the real world and soon find out if the path they are on is the right one or if they need to start plotting a new direction.

Even so, it is important to take full advantage of any internship opportunity. With most internships averaging only three months, you will want to leave a lasting impression.  You want the organization to feel like you had a positive impact or that you stood out as a star. Ideally, they might ultimately hire you or at the very least, serve as a great source for a recommendation when you start your job search after graduation.

 So how do you do this?  I have a few tips that should help you focus and take advantage:

*Always introduce yourself to everyone and let them know what you are interested in and that you are there to help any time of day.

*Take on a project. Better yet, take one on that someone doesn’t want to do, and rock at it.  Show them you can get it done quickly, accurately and maybe even with additional foresight.

*Jump in when people are in a rush or bogged down by tight deadlines.  They will appreciate a completed product.

* Double check all of your work.

*Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

*Make time to meet with the head of the company.

*Don’t be afraid to stay late, come in early and even work on things you aren’t originally assigned.

*Don’t sit on Facebook all day or G-Chat.  People in the office will notice and just think you are a waste of space.

*Read about the industry outside of the office.  It shows that you are engaged and know what is going on.

*Share new tools and ideas; maybe even send emails to the rest of the office when you find an interesting and helpful news story.

*At the end of your internship write everyone thank you notes and keep in touch.  Ask them to review a project you worked on at school or perhaps float an idea past them.  Email them about things that are relevant and can help them get their work done.

In a busy atmosphere it is easy to get lost.  But if you go above and beyond and do great work, you will get noticed.