Katya successfully completed a summer internship at UBS and was lucky enough to receive a job offer. Take a look at her top tips on how to turn your internship into a fantastic job opportunity…
Your attitude and behaviour
- First and foremost – always be on time.
- Always be enthusiastic, positive and friendly.
- Network - and make an effort to remember names! Make sure you join the team when they go for drinks after work – your colleagues not only want someone who is good at their job but also someone that they get along with. Working hard is important, but it is also crucial to socialise with your team. Ensure that you maintain professionalism, though, even during out-of-hours social events.
- Get involved in all the extra-curricular events, whether a department rounders tournament, office charity event or current affairs seminar.
- Smile! It’s extremely important that you show you’re enjoying your work and involvement in the company.
Keep up to date
- Know about the company. Know the company’s background, its different areas, its CEO etc.
- Make sure you keep up with the news daily. This is particularly important for economics-related news, including stock markets and exchange rates. However, it’s also useful to be aware of other popular news as this can become a topic of office conversation and thus an opportunity to get involved.
- If you have been given a ‘buddy’, make the most of them! Buddies can be invaluable sources of information about the different roles in the department, the graduate scheme, the application process and are also often very willing to let you work-shadow them.
How to approach your work
- Always carry a pen on you!
- Always meet deadlines, but don’t just rush to finish your work as quickly as possible. Efficiency will be noticed and appreciated but make sure you still spend enough time checking your work is perfect. Although it will be noticed if you are a fast worker it is also crucial that your work is correct.
- Be proactive in asking questions - this shows an interest in what you’re doing and indicates that you are enthusiastic about working here and getting a full-time job. If you’re unclear about something you’ve been asked to do, ask for further guidance. It won’t give a good impression if you’ve been sitting at a task for an hour or so with no idea of what you’re supposed to do. However, make sure you don’t ask too many questions! Prevent this by making sure you listen carefully to everything you’re told (write it down if necessary) and first check whether you can find the answer to your question by other means, before asking your supervisor.
- Be proactive in looking for more work if you’ve finished your set tasks. If there are no new tasks available, don’t just sit at your desk twiddling your thumbs or surfing the web. Do something proactive like learning more about the company, researching your department further, or working on any intern projects you have been given.
- If you think you can see a way of expanding a task or making it more efficient, consider suggesting this to your supervisor. If a good idea, this will show that you are intelligent and capable of thinking outside the box. Ask for feedback. About halfway through your internship, ask your supervisor for feedback on your performance so far. This can help you address any weaknesses identified and also indicates that you are serious about the job.
If you are successful in obtaining an offer, then try and maintain the work relationships over the following year, so that you already have some good work relationships when you start your full-time role after graduating. This may be your relationship with fellow interns who also secured a graduate role, or your buddy (if applicable).
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