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by Alan J. McMillan | May 31, 2016


An intern consultant adjusts his tie.

For your summer internship you have two objectives:

  1. Exceed the expectations of the assignment you were given
  2. Stand out as a high potential future employee

Internships give you a platform to learn, discover if the field is exciting for you, offers\ a chance to build your network, have some fun, and make a little money. All good.

But your primary purpose is enticing your employer to want to hire you in the future.  You do that by being great.  Let’s dive into a few tips to incorporate into your assignment.

Prepare with some research prior to showing up.

Advance preparation will give you an early advantage, and also boosts your confidence.

Know that exceeding expectations IS YOUR JOB

 When you get a role and assignments, do whatever you must to nail it. It is best to ask questions early on:

    • Repeat the assignment back to ensure you understand it
    • Midway, ask for clarity if there are any questions on your mind so you know you’re on the right track
    • Deliver it on or before the deadline
    • Ask for feedback, so that you can do better next time

Have impressive observable work habits

Come in early and be one of the last to leave.  Be positive under any and all circumstances.  Dress for the role (remember Mama said, over dressing is better than underdressing).  Never engage in office gossip and politics.  And wear an attitude of gratitude (more people want internships that those who get them, act accordingly).

Finally, know that you are on 24x7x365

Treat the internship as such.  This is a 60-day job interview and the little things can torpedo you.

Remember to thank people as they spend time with you

When seasoned people take you under their wing, say thanks and DON’T FORGET to thank everyone who was responsible for helping you get the internship.

Know that internships lead to permanent offers and repeat internships are even better.  New research shows the benefits from taking a second internship or co-op with the same company had little effect on whether or not that person accepted an offer for full time employment. However, a repeat internship or co-op did affect their ability to GET an offer considerably.

Nearly 90% of returning interns received offers and 90% of those accepted them. This is in comparison with 43.5% of non-returning interns that were offered jobs where they interned.

Batter up!  You got the internship, now hit it out of the park!

A version of this post previously appeared on


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