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Shawna Scott - 9/18/2019

  1. Introduce yourself. Learn your coworkers’ names and a bit about what they do. Greet people by name when you run into them.
  2. Stay humble. Yeah, you might need to make some coffee runs or photocopy a bunch of boring documents. But when you perform even the most trivial task with excellence, your supervisors should take notice.
  3. Ask questions. You won’t be expected to know everything right away, so practice this especially at the beginning of your internship. Instead of just going, “Huh?” try out some of these:
    1. “Can you clarify that?”
    2. “Could you give me some more direction on this part of the project?”
    3. “Would you expand on that point, please?”
    4. “What I’m hearing is ___. Am I understanding that correctly?” 
  4. Find your Yoda. Mentorship is crucial! This may not be a formal thing where you schedule weekly meetings or something like that. It might simply be identifying a professional in your workplace you admire who is willing to let you pick their brain on occasion.
  5. Be punctual. This should go without saying, but respect others’ time by being on time—or even taking steps to be five minutes early. That leaves an impression!
  6. Take initiative. Practice being a self-starter. When you complete an assignment, ask what’s next. Find yourself with some downtime and see something that needs doing? Get on it! If you’re not sure how, ask your supervisor: “Hey, I noticed that ____ needs to be done. Would you like me to work on it?”
  7. Ask for feedback. A supervisor will generally offer constructive criticism without prompting, but if you feel like you’re not getting enough, all you have to do is ask. Try one of these questions:
    1. “What can I improve next time?”
    2. “Do you see anything here I can do better in the future?”
    3. “Did you have any additional feedback for me on this project?”
  8. Practice offering solutions, not just problems. Instead of going to your supervisor and saying, “I found XYZ issue with the spreadsheet” and waiting for them to come up with a solution, take a minute before you bring up the issue to think of a possible fix or two. “I noticed something wasn’t working right on XYZ project. Would ____ or ____ resolve it?” Even if they decide to go with a different solution, you will have demonstrated your commitment to being a problem-solver.