Kelli discusses some very important aspects of being a good intern, regardless of major or career path. First, it is imperative to do what you are asked to do, and to do it with a smile. Students have high expectations of their internships but in reality, internships generally start with basic tasks such as conducting research or making photocopies. Interns need to build trust before they are able to do the more important tasks. Her second advice is to be proactive as an intern. For example, if you have free time, ask your supervisor if you can help with another task. You get noticed by asking for opportunities and taking the initiative to do more. Thirdly, it is important to be prompt. Treat the internship as a full time job; get there on time and stay as late as is needed. Finally, use your internships to network for future positions. During the internship, be nice to everyone because you never know who is going to be helpful in your job hunt down the line. Kelli also offers some internship interviewing tips: (1) Treat the interview as if going in for a full-time job, because many employers parley internships into full-time positions, and (2) emphasize what you bring to the company that no one else can, and why you are the better candidate. Her parting shot is that it is very important to have a quality internship. This professional experience is very important to get before graduating, and nothing shows an employer that you are ready to do the work than an internship where you got real world experience.
Kelli B. Grant has covered consumer finance since joining SmartMoney.com in June 2005. Her Deal of the Day column and accompanying 3 Tips video segments tell consumers how to save money and spend it wisely. Before joining SmartMoney.com, Kelli worked at MarketWatch.com as a reporter. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and anthropology from Ithaca College.
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