For many of us, starting a placement can be daunting and frankly quite stressful.
There are no universal rules that apply to placements, as every placement is unique. But there is a ‘go-getter’ attitude that will help you stand out and be remembered.
Like any new job function, interns will go through an induction process which will allow for a swifter, easier integration into the company. As you will need time to familiarize yourself with the process, company culture and fellow co-workers, it will take some time before you can go above and beyond your role as an intern and impress your boss.
But there are many other ways in which you can impress people around you and quickly get yourself noticed. One of the first things I did on my first day was to use my initiative and introduce myself to every other co-worker. Don’t be scared to venture out of your department – most company branches are interdependent – meaning you will end up liaising with these people at some point down the line. Meet people for a coffee, become a master of small talk (especially in lifts!) and don’t forget to mention your name and profession – a little self-promotion never does any harm.
Throughout your placement, remember to solidify your long-lasting connections with people on platforms such as LinkedIn, which is an excellent digital community which will help you expand your professional network. A co-worker once told me to message connections on special occasions such as festive days and birthdays, which will help them remember you over the course of time.
Once you find your rhythm and feel more confident with your work, you can then think about correlating your job role with external activities specific to your position or company. 5 months into my placement, I arranged to go to a marketing conference with the CEO and later, with the approval of my line manager, held a 15-minute presentation in front of the whole agency.
This is just one example of how anyone can think for themselves and manage their own projects, independent from their basic list of tasks. Going above and beyond during your placement will benefit you in the long run, ensure a good reference and help you to get your name out there. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – people will admire you for being ambitious for thinking ‘outside the box’.