Five Traits of Top Interns
by Donna Morris
posted on 05-12-2015
In a few weeks Adobe will open its doors to hundreds of summer interns. I have to say, it’s among my favorite times of year. These students radiate excitement and energy – it’s infectious.
I enjoy having the opportunity to meet our interns. I’ve probably met the equivalent of a small liberal arts college during my career! In these interactions, I’ve noticed a few key traits that make certain interns or new grads stand out from the rest. These are the interns you remember, work to invite back summer after summer, and strive to eventually hire.
You may think the best interns come from a handful of top schools and are the ones that dazzled during the interview process. That’s simply not true. If you are a student embarking on your summer opportunity, now is your time to shine. Here are the five traits of our top interns:
1. They bring their A-game to the office every day. Yes, first impressions are important, but lasting impressions matter most. Summer is a short period of time and your managers will be evaluating you closely. Those that stand out ensure that every day counts and are conscious of how they show up, demonstrate interest and the quality of the work they deliver.
2. They are driven to learn. The best interns want to understand how the company works, what the strategy is, who the leadership is. They are driven to take on new experiences and ask for more. The reality is, the knowledge you gain during summer may make more of an impact than some of your courses. This is your opportunity to apply your book smarts to real-world experience.
3. They work hard and play hard … later. Rock climbing walls, beer bashes, video game rooms – there are a ton of distractions in the workplace today. I’m glad I didn’t have to contend with this when I was a student. Keep your priorities in check, and make sure you work hard first, then play hard once you’ve met your commitments.
4. They speak up. Our top students share their opinions and insights. Guess what? Everyone in business is trying to figure out “millennials” and you are the expert. We want to learn from you, too. We can only do that if you have the confidence to share your thoughts.
5. They network. This is the start of your career. The people you meet now could help you get a job or offer valuable advice later. Join all the internship activities – or consider leading some. Volunteering with colleagues is another great way to make connections. Also, set up informational meetings with people in other departments and roles at the company. Explore what they do, their career paths and background. Your manager could likely give you a good list of people to meet.
I hope your summer is a huge success! If it’s not your dream job – that’s OK. It’s an opportunity to learn, network and build your experience. Share your thoughts on your intern experiences. Send me a tweet @DonnaCMorris.
Topics: Leadership, Career Advice, University