What three traits do the most successful interns share?

There are lots of qualities that make up great interns and workers in any company. As an intern you’re there, not only to benefit and assist the department you’re working for, but to improve your skills and grow personally as a young professional. But what is it that makes an intern loved and remembered by a company? As a former intern, and now a hiring manager, I can safely say, these three traits will help you stand out from the crowd, be appreciated, respected and ultimately valued.

Having a strong initiative

A great intern is one that isn’t always told what to do. Of course that doesn’t mean running before you can walk. This is a trait that will develop as you become more comfortable and confident in a department where you are learning the systems and processes of how the team works and how the department is run. You will inevitably spot areas and opportunities where you can offer your assistance without being told or asked. There is nothing better when an intern can spot a problem, offer a solution or notices that someone needs help. It shows you are sharp and aware of what’s going on around you and have the confidence to get involved!

Showing lots of curiosity

Being curious is a great asset. It means you won’t always settle for the obvious and will always be keen to extend your knowledge and understanding. It shows you are genuinely interested in the job and the company and industry. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and undertake research in your own time. Raise your hand at the appropriate opportunity and try to learn about the bigger picture even when the discussion doesn’t involve your role or department.

Willingness to learn and listen

As an intern, you aren’t expected to know everything! You don’t, so just accept that. That’s what you’re there to do, learn and develop skills for the role. However, as described above, you should be ready to soak in all important and needed knowledge in order for you to do the job effectively. This involves not only asking questions but very importantly, listening. Not just listening carefully to instructions, but also to advice and guidance and those all important discussions and conversations that are going on around you. Watch, observe and listen to those around you.

The best thing about these characteristics is that they can easily be worked on! You may wonder whether you have those qualities. Of course you do. However, we can all improve on them by keeping them in the forefront of our minds when on the job.

Think about the professional qualities you would like to be remembered for when you leave your internship, the very things that you hope would appear in your reference for a job. Those are the things you can work towards on a daily basis in order to be the best version of yourself.

Go get em!

By contributing guest editor Hannah Rafter, founder and Editor In Chief of The Intern 247, a website dedicated to giving real insights into the world of fashion internships. @theintern247 theintern247.com

Photo credit: Pexels


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