Published on July 30, 2015

6 ways to leave a lasting impression at your internship abroad

teamwork

"How can I leave a lasting impression at my internship abroad?"

An internship abroad is not only the opportunity to gain real-world, professional experience - it can be a great way to get your foot in the door at a company and make work contacts that could help you find a job in the future. That being said, the potential job prospects an internship abroad offer are only as good as the lasting impact you make at your internship abroad. Take advantage of the time you have during your internship and make a positive impression on your colleagues who may just want to help you out in the future.

 

1) Contribute to big, long-term projects involving other employees

If you can find a way to become an asset to a team putting together a large project, it will give you the opportunity to do two important things. First of all, in a team you'll be working with lots of different people who will notice your skill and initiative and will see concrete examples of how you're contributing to the office. Secondly, if you contribute to a long-term project, the positive effects of your good work will likely outlast your stay at your internship. It's a way for your work to become memorable at your internship abroad, leaving a lasting, positive impression.

 

2) Keep in touch with your coworkers

Take advantage of social media, especially websites like LinkedIn, in order to stay in contact with your former employees. When they see you're doing related work on, say, your LinkedIn profile, they'll be more likely to remember your contributions at the office. Occasionally sending a friendly email or visiting the office if you're in the area again are other good ways to stay in touch.

 

my internship abroad

 

3) Produce quality work

The best way to be remembered at your internship is to produce excellent work. Starting on day one, try your very best to match the quality of work of your colleagues. If you come in early, stay late, ask questions, think critically and respond positively to feedback you're work will improve and shine and that will earn you the respect of your employees.

 

4) Make friends

All work and no play makes for a dull intern. Take advantage of social outings with your colleagues so you can get to know each other a little better. Then you won't just be "Jessica, the marketing intern" you'll be "Jessica, my friend, the witty marketing intern who worked on that project with me and had the funniest anecdotes about her pet turtle." If people feel an emotional connection to you, they will remember you longer and will be more willing to help you out in the future.

 

my internship abroad

 

5) Maintain a positive attitude

If you're a disagreeable, negative person you may leave a lasting impression at your internship - just not a very good one. No matter how amazing your work is, if your attitude sucks, nobody will want to work with you or give you a job recommendation. On the flip side, if you stay positive and make your coworkers happy to be around you, you will be missed when you're gone.

 

6) Show a genuine interest in the company

Even though you're trying to improve your own professional skills at an internship abroad, don't lose sight of the fact that you are part of a work community and company. Take an interest in the history of the company, their mission and how they've grown in order to understand who you're working for and who you're working with. If you show a passion for the people and place you work, your colleagues will reciprocate.

 

 

Photo 1. based on Teamwork and team spirit, by 드림포유, CC-by-ND 2.0

Photo 2. based on Workplace 1, by Hugo Chisholm, CC-by-SA 2.0

Photo 3. based on Positive Thinker, by Leland Francisco, CC-by-2.0

The author
Elizabeth Trovall
After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her third year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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