How to Rock at Your Summer Job or Internship

It's that time of year where high school and college students are either looking for or starting their summer jobs. No matter what type of job you land, there are a few key tips to keep in mind to make yourself stand out!

Interactive Marketing Coordinator, Carnegie Communications

Originally Posted: May 31, 2012
Last Updated: May 19, 2016

It’s that time of year where high school and college students are either looking for or starting their summer jobs. No matter what type of job you land, there are a few key tips to keep in mind to make yourself stand out and be considered for future, more permanent employment (or even just to get a few references!).

Take even the smallest tasks seriously

As an intern, it’s likely you’ll be the one brewing the coffee, making copies, or running errands. Regardless of what task you are doing, make sure you do it excellently. Make it the best darn pot of coffee you’ve ever brewed, or the loveliest copies you’ve ever made. You’ll show your boss that you are willing to work hard at any task that you’re given, no matter how (seemingly) unimportant. Also, if you do these tasks well, your boss will start to see that you are responsible and can handle even bigger assignments.

Be proactive and involved

Don’t sit around waiting for your manager to come to you. If you see the need for something to be done, bring it up to your boss. If you think it’d be beneficial for you to sit in on some meetings to learn more about the company, make sure you mention that too. Your superiors will be happy  you are one to communicate properly and take initiative—that’s something all employers are looking for! It’ll also show that you are truly interested in the company and how it works.

Engage with others and maintain a positive attitude

In order for you to have a chance at getting hired down the road, you have to be liked by your fellow employees, and, very importantly, your boss. Strike up conversation during your lunch break or during some downtime. Get to know others and let them have a chance to get to know you. Also, keeping an upbeat attitude will send out positive vibes and make you all the more likeable.

Always, always bring a pen and notebook

Whenever you go somewhere, whether it’s just a chat or scheduled meeting, bring that notebook and pen along. You don’t want to be stuck having to memorize an assignment and risk making mistakes. Also, showing up without your notebook sends the signal that you either aren’t prepared or you don’t view what’s being said as important. With that pen and paper, you’ll be ready—even if it just ends up that your boss wants to show you pictures of his daughter’s pre-school play.

Enjoy your summer jobs, everyone!

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career advice internship advice job advice job advice for students student jobs summer jobs

About Kristen Fackler

Kristen Fackler

Kristen is a May 2011 graduate of Elon University, with a bachelor of science in English and Spanish. While at Elon, Kristen had the opportunity to complete a lot of writing and editing, two areas she has always been passionate about. At the Writing Center, she worked as a consultant with peers and community members to improve their writing skills. She also worked as an editor of Visions, an environmental magazine published by Elon faculty and students. While in college, Kristen was able to spend a semester in Seville, Spain. During the time she was there, Kristen was able to keep a blog in Spanish. She also was published in más+menos* magazine, a bilingual magazine completed by students and faculty members of CIEE Study Center. Kristen has also written for Examiner and is currently writing for Suite101. She enjoys writing as much as possible.

You can circle Kristen on Google+, follow her on Twitter, or subscribe to her CollegeXpress blog.


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