When you step into the industry as an intern, it’s an entirely new experience and nearly all your colleagues are valuable resources for learning about your job and how to perform well. When most people finally get the fulltime job and gain more experience, the energy they had as interns seems to dissipate and they usually lose the humility they had.
Sure, nobody will expect you to continue doing the errands. There are, however, characteristic behaviors of interns that you would do well to carry into your fulltime job. Working as an intern is aimed at teaching you how to operate in a working environment after all.
For instance, as a bright-eyed intern who has a lot to learn about the job, the company and the industry, you offer the company a fresh perspective. You’re quick to take up tasks you find intriguing, build meaningful relationships, and ask questions. This fresh spirit should remain a part of you even after you get a fulltime job.
Below are intern traits that you should hold on to dearly well into your career, no matter how far up the ranks you rise.
Zeal for learning
You will certainly do well in your internships if you are the kind of person that loves to ask questions, is highly observant and keen to take notes, and considers all your colleagues as valuable resources from whom you stand to learn a lot.
One of the positive traits that most managers and other employees find admirable in new interns is their readiness to learn and take up tasks. Once you get a fulltime job, maintaining this attitude may be quite a challenge and asking for help might becoming increasingly intimidating, but it’s an incredibly valuable trait.
When people get fulltime jobs, they easily fall into the trap of irrationally believing that they are expected to know everything and have all the answers for every situation. However, vulnerable as it may make you feel, asking for help always gives you a fresh perspective and makes otherwise challenging tasks manageable.
After all, no one likes a co-worker who acts like a know-it-all. Opening up about your skill level and looking to your co-workers for assistance will enable you to continually improve.
Venturing outside your assigned tasks
Too many people choose to never venture outside their job descriptions. Oftentimes you will hear someone say “that’s not my responsibility”. However, as a conscientious intern, you are expected to always be willing to be a team player, whether or not the task assigned to you is among the bullet points in the job description outlined in your contract.
In almost every company, there are always things that fail to get done because everyone is too busy to do them. Ideal improvements that are not compulsory and urgent are frequently neglected in the course of daily operations. This is where you come in as an intern. You bring with you a conscientious spirit that takes care of these unattended ideas.
Toni M. Kersey is a Seattle-based blogger, author and editor. In recent years, his work has been featured in various career and human resources websites where he writes on career-related topics including finding internships, switching jobs, etc.