How to Stand out at Your Internship
By Khadejah Stegall
Khadejah is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.
Internships are exciting, but can be scary due to the pressure you have to do a great job when others are counting on you. I remember my phone interview with BET Networks like it was yesterday. Everyone thought I blew it out the park and I told myself I needed to keep that same enthusiasm daily on my internship. Gracefully, I was able to make a good impression at my internship and I’m going to share what traits I possessed and actions I did to make me stand out as a stellar intern.
I stayed true to myself
I believe it is important to stay true to who you are. Some people can read right through someone that is putting up a front and trying to fit in. Staying true to myself made people realize who I was and I developed a brand of being positive and reliable. I made sure to speak to everyone regardless of their title or job duty. I hardly tried to force conversations with people. Instead, I just let relationships build over time by asking if they ever needed help and speaking.
I took initiative and went above and beyond
When there was a meeting, I would go and take notes. After the meeting, I would send the notes to my supervisor without them asking. In entertainment, there is usually a Monday morning meeting to see how productions are going and the staff usually shares any relevant news. Interns were responsible for sharing Industry news. Instead of just sharing it, I created a private unpublished website that was similar to the brand of BET and presented it like it was my final project for a class. Each week I would change the website theme according to what was going on. For example, the BET Awards, Orlando club shooting and Prince tribute happened during this time and I made themes for each scenario.
I Asked About My Performance
One important action I think many people fail to do is ask for a performance evaluation. This is important because there can be something you are doing that you are unaware about that could hurt your performance. During my evaluation, I kept a brag book, which is a book where you write down every task you completed and every time you received good feedback. When you do this, you are able to back up everything and provide evidence during your evaluation. One improvement I needed to make is not being so closed in. My manager explained that if I was in a different culture, that would be appropriate, but since I was in a very open culture, I needed to loosen up a bit.
I Was The Same Person They Met Over The Phone
I was the same person they met over the phone and showed the same consistency until my last day of work. Sometimes interns can overexaggerate about their ability and what kind of intern they will be just to get the internship. Fortunately, BET was one of my dream companies and was such a great culture for me that I was able to perform well and thrive during my internship.
I Was Enthusiastic Even With Boring Tasks
Since BET was switching to digital there was a lot of VCR tapes that had to be converted. Interns were responsible for gathering up hundreds of tapes and taking them across the street in the middle of busy Times Square. I hated every minute of it, but I kept a smile on my face and I understood the role I was playing and why the work had to be done. Everyone commended me for my positivity and I received compliments from those employees who “never like anyone or give out compliments.”
I Always Followed Up About Assignments
I always made sure to follow up if I was working on an assignment for anyone. This made people trust that I would get the job done. Following up is important so you can notify others how far along you are on a project.
I Made Mistakes and Learned From Them
As an intern, you will make mistakes. The key is to be humble, apologize and learn from them. Remain confident, but realize you aren’t perfect.
It is a lot of pressure to become a star intern, but with humility, patience and consistency, it’s possible. Your internship is a second interview so it’s important to perform well and make genuine connections that will become advocates for you.
Khadejah Stegall is a college mommy blogger that inspires others to achieve the impossible through the power of Jesus. She enjoys family time, eating vegan meals when it's convenient and mentoring others on professional development. To be inspired by more post, follow her blog at khadejahstegall.com.