How to Be The Best Intern At the Office

Being an intern can be really tough sometimes, you’re the bottom of the ladder and the lowest ranking member of the workforce, but it’s not all bad. Here are 4 tips to being a the best intern so you can step up your game in the office.

Be a “Guy”

No I don’t mean be a literal male, being a “guy” can apply to anyone. Basically it means be known for something in the office, you don’t have to have a large following but maybe just a few people. For example, I brought gum to the office everyday throughout my internship. I would offer it to other people and after awhile they would start to come to me when they wanted gum. I became “Gum Guy.” Being some type of guy, “sports guy,” “wacky tie guy,” creates a differential from you just being a normal intern. In my case I kept things interesting by changing the flavor of gum brought in everyday. Doing small things like this can make you more liked and more fun in the office.

Always Ask If Anyone Needs Help

This can be a feared question, you don’t want to seem to pushy or like you have no work to do, but you also want to be helpful. I say just go for it, ask as many people in the office if they need help as you can. This will give you a great character image to the other workers and even just asking the question can change your look to someone else. If they do give you work, that means that they trust you and now can depend on you, so asking for it can give you a good sense of where you stand and what role you play as the intern.


Ask Questions About Your Work

You’ve asked the crucial question of whether they need help or not and now they’ve given you work, but you don’t fully understand it. ASK QUESTIONS! It is a 100 times better to ask an awkward or pressing question and get the work right, than to hold off and have them correct you later. Sometimes people can get annoyed if you ask too many questions so make sure that you have at least tried yourself to figure out the topic or task and then if you are really stuck, go ask. In most cases no one will be mad at you, and most of the time it looks good on you as an intern. It shows that you are engaged in the task and that you actually care about what you are doing, showing that you want to get it right means that you aren’t just trying to throw some work out there so that you complete the task. It is better to ask and get it right, than not ask and take the chance.

Use Your Phone Wisely

This is a big one. There are good times and bad times to be on your phone, you just have to know how to read the office. If you really have an urgent text message, and I mean very urgent, then any time is acceptable to answer but other than that it’s time to study your co-workers. If the office is busy and everyone is on calls or intensely working at their desk, DO NOT check your phone. If you are seen during this hectic time just taking a break, you will come off as a slacker. So even if you don’t have work, at least appear busy to make everyone else feel like you are part of their crazy work time as well. But there is the opposite case, if you see everyone lounging back taking a break then you are probably safe for a check. Do it casually and you can probably get through answering your texts and snapchats. But one situation that always applies, no matter what the office aura is at the time, if the boss is near you, put it away, right there and then. No boss should ever see you on your phone unless he asks, and I doubt he will. Abide by these and you will not be labeled with the ugly title of “phone guy.”

I hope these tips have been helpful and that they teach you some key things to making you be a more liked and respected intern.

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Nick Provenzano

Nick is a contributor to The Almost Doctor’s Channel and current business student at the University of Pittsburgh. H2P.