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Rocking Your First REAL Work Opportunity

College Students! Here’s the 411 on how to rock your first internship or job!

Great News! You’ve perfected your resume, you’ve conquered countless phone interviews, excelled at in-person interviews and finally you have landed your dream internship or work opportunity. Now what? With summer and graduation fast approaching, many college students are stepping into their very first role as young professionals. Here’s five tips on making sure you leave a lasting impression on the company and how to get the most out of your first position out of the classroom. 

1. Set Goals and Follow Through

We all set goals at the beginning of the year and rarely do people follow through. But this is so important to really think about what you want to get out of your internship or first position out of school. Ask yourself these questions to help yourself set goals:

  • Why did you choose this specific company?
  • What excites you about the job description?
  • What do you expect to learn?
  • What do you hope to learn that is not mentioned in the job description?

Having concrete goals creates accountability to follow through and actually complete them. Write them down, look at them every day, and cross them off when you’re finished.

2. Listen, Engage, and Ask Questions

Recently, at a conference with 30+ industry professionals, the question was asked “what makes an intern stand out” and most of the professionals echoed the same answer: ask questions and be engaged! This shows that you are passionate to learn more about the industry and more about the company in general. It also shows a desire to be a “lifelong learner” and that is something that companies will notice and greatly appreciate.

3. Get Involved and Build Relationships 

Always say yes! Whether your company actively participates in community service or various company outings. It’s important to get involved and say yes to every opportunity presented to you! Not only does this show that you’re committed to the company – it’s also a great way to bond and develop interpersonal relationships with co-workers. 

4. Go Above and Beyond

Think about an internship or the first few months at a new company as a three-month long job interview. Your goal is to impress your co-workers. This doesn’t just mean your direct manager, this means everyone (co-workers, people from different departments, the company’s receptionist). Do everything that you can to assist everyone around the office. This will show your company that you are a team player and dedicated to not only your individual work but the greater company including everyone in the office.

5. Stay in Touch and Share your Experiences

Even after you move from your first company, it’s important to keep in touch with those that mentored you through the experience. These colleagues helped mold you into the young professional that you are today and allowed you to take the next step in your career. If you are returning to college, many times, there are opportunities to share your unique experiences with fellow classmates. This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and let people know the great work you did during your internship. It can lead to networking with classmates and maybe even greater opportunities!

Now that you’ve master your first internship or job – cheers to the real world!

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