Published on July 22, 2015

7 office habits of successful interns

1. They let their enthusiasm show

Showing passion for what you do will contribute to a positive work environment for you and everyone around you. Colleagues will notice if you show a genuine interest and excitement for your work. You don't have to love every single aspect of your internship, but during the moments you feel inspired by your work - let it show!




2. They're organized

It doesn't matter if your room is a complete pig-sty. Keep your office space organized. A clean work space increases overall productivity. And keep in mind that your work space includes your computer so maintain your word documents, spreadsheets and power points properly named and filed on your computer.


3. They're thorough

Following-up and making sure your work tasks are sufficiently completed shows an extra level of dedication to your work that will earn you the respect of your colleagues. Being thorough also means taking the time to review your work a few times before turning it in, asking for feedback and then using feedback to make improvements.


4. They're OK with not being perfect

The purpose of an internship is to prepare a young person for a job through real-world experience - that means learning from moments of both success and failure. Don't be overly concerned with doing your internship tasks perfectly. Focus on trying your best and taking stock of your weaknesses so you can get better. Expertise comes after years of learning from mistakes and errors on previous work and making an effort to improve the quality of your work.




5. They show up on time

Punctuality at work is an absolute must for professionals who want to be taken seriously at their workplace. Arriving late to work or to a meeting is disrespectful to your colleagues who showed up on time.


6. They take on challenges

Dare to take on an intimidating project or presentation. Nothing ventured is nothing gained. An internship is supposed to create a safe environment that allows young professionals to take risks and grow. Say "yes" to a project that intimidates you and do your very best. It may not come out as well as an easier project, but you will have taken a risk, expanded your horizon and learned much more.




7. They stay positive

A professional internship in a foreign country is not an easy thing to take on. If you can stay positive amidst the most challenging moments of the journey, your colleagues will notice. Positivity is infectious and contributes to a happy, productive work environment.



Photo 1. based on Enthusiasm Uncurbed, by David Goehring, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. based on guardian of time, by Alice Popkorn, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on Smile, by jessicahtam, 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *