I just read a terrific post on Tim Elmore’s “Growing Leaders” blog entitled: “Advice to a Would-be Intern”. You can access the post at: http://growingleaders.com/blog/?s=Summer+interns .
In this post, Elmore advises employers and students to treat an internship as a 12-week interview. Students need to understand that they will continue to be evaluated during the internship to determine their potential for permanent employment. Likewise, students should evaluate their work environments and decide if these are the type of situations they would like for future jobs.
In addition, Elmore says, since many interns have minimal professional experience, his firm looks for interns with the right “attitude, rather than aptitude.” The qualities that demonstrate the right attitude to him are: teachability (hungry to learn), initiative (will look for what needs to be done), responsibility (will take care of their assignments), and high energy (passionate about the company’s work).
Elmore’s post is very applicable to my mentorship. I hope at the end of the year that I will have made such a good impression and contribution, that my mentor will be willing to be a referral for me. I plan to contact my future college’s Global Studies Center for a work-study job and a positive recommendation from my mentor would help secure a position.
There are a number of actions I can take to create a good impression. First of all, I want my mentor and co-workers to know that I am reliable. I will demonstrate this by showing up to work on time and doing what I say I’m going to do (such as completing tasks by or before deadlines). Also, I want to be known for high-quality results, so I will double check my work for accuracy. And generally, I want to be viewed as someone who is easy to work with and always willing to help out.
It is a slight attitude adjustment to view an internship as an interview. What if we take that adjustment one step further and look at our jobs as continuous interviews? To stay competitive, we should always look for ways to keep improving. We might as well get in the habit now!