OPINION: Support and Absorb, From One Intern to Another

Joe (“Joe Jr.”) Marot – Fall Co-Op, University of Cincinnati

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They say an internship is all about gaining experience… or that it’s just another bullet point to add to your resume to make yourself more marketable when graduation rolls around? To a degree, this is correct. But, what if you wanted more than that out of your internship? How could you turn that internship into a full-time job offer? Through my experience, the answer to that question comes down to a couple simple tasks.

Typically, an intern will work directly under someone who has experience with the company. Yes, they may help out others, but they primarily help out whoever or whatever department they are assigned to. I have found that the best way to get noticed as an intern is to simply make your boss’ job easier.

That’s it.

Management will be able to tell whether you’re helping or hurting the employee or team you are assigned to. Make your boss’ job easier to get noticed. Do not try to overstretch yourself by getting involved in multiple facets of the company. You are new to the company, and there is usually a lot to learn. Learn your role, and learn how to be successful in it. You have to learn how to walk before you can run. An intern is there to support, and that is what you should focus on first.

While an intern is there to support, they are also there to learn. Everyone knows an internship is a learning experience. But to me, this learning can extend further than simply learning the tasks and job responsibilities associated with your position.

The best way to learn and be successful?Absorbing in the atmosphere. Once you feel comfortable within your support role, start to pay attention to the things happening around you. Listen to the way people are talking to customers. Watch how management handles its employees to effectively learn their expectations. Absolutely will you learn from your mistakes, but learn from the mistakes of others as well. Learn what to do and what not to do from those who have more experience in the business. This list can go on and on, but all it boils down to is taking in everything that is going on around you. Take your learning one step further, and you will put yourself in a position to make the most out of your internship.

If you noticed, the tasks I laid out seem intertwined. Once you are comfortable within your role, start to expand your vision and hearing. Take in other aspects of the company. Being successful at your job responsibilities as an intern will put you in a position to be noticed. Learning the expectations and behaviors of others will put you in a position to be hired.

Support and absorb, and that internship will turn into more than just another bullet point on your resume.

 

Joe Marot is a rock star Co-Op student headed for full-time employment with Bridge Logistics after his graduation. For more about our internship program, click here.

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