Top 10 Qualities of an Effective Intern

The Intern

Even though interns may not think their position in the company is important, they do have a vital role to play during the completion of their internship. In order to succeed in the internship program, they need to have certain qualities that make them effective in completing their jobs. Not cultivating these qualities in their professional life will also make them less effective in completing the internships. Being effective as an intern will increase your chances of transitioning from an intern to a full-time employee. This article will discuss the top ten qualities that an effective intern exhibits in the workplace.

See also: 5 Reasons Why Arriving 15 Minutes Early to Work Will Make You More Productive

1. Effectively inquisitive

All of these qualities are important. However, being effectively inquisitive is vital if you want to successfully complete your internship. You can be ineffective in asking questions and that would not benefit you, your manager or other interns. For example, not listening during a planning meeting and then asking your manager afterward what you are tasked with is not professional. You’re showing your ignorance and inability to function as a productive intern. You’re wasting time and not making a positive impression on your manager. Rather, you should pay attention when given directions and be effectively inquisitive with the questions that you ask. Being effective also includes not being afraid to actually ask questions and then making mistakes because you did not check with your manager first before starting an assignment.

2. Accepting guidance

Another quality that is important for an intern to be effective is their ability to accept guidance from managers in the internship program. If you think you know it all, you’re in for a rude awakening and won’t be as successful in your future career as you could be if you learned to take advice. Your managers have succeeded in the workplace for a reason and effective interns know how to actively listen and accept guidance. For example, whenever you are around your internship supervisor, be alert and pay attention to the guidance that they are giving you. Pay attention to the guidance that you may receive from various managers that you come into contact with. You never know when you’ll receive another valuable nugget of advice. Continually be cognizant that you must make an effort to accept guidance from others.

3. Diligently observant

In addition to accepting guidance, interns need to be diligently observant if they want to become more effective in their internships. Learning by observation is one of the most valuable lessons you can take away from your internship. You can learn positive behaviors to imitate as well as negative ones to avoid exhibiting. For example, effective interns take frequent notes during their interactions with supervisors and leaders in the company as they observe how they are managing the company. These interns review those observations and internalize how they can take the good with the bad and follow the productive lessons.

4. Exhibiting self-control

Having self-control is important if you want to excel in the professional world. Effective interns have mastered the art of self-control and then have been able to complete successful internships. For example, effective interns know how to keep their mouth shut during attendance at business meetings when an executive is speaking. If they have an idea to share, they understand the proper channels to go through first to get heard by their supervisor. These interns know how to filter their words and behavior so that they continually speak and act in a mature manner.

5. Tolerant mindset

Tolerance is vital to succeed in the workplace. If you think you are better than others, you won’t make it very far in the company without trying to step over other people. Effective interns have learned how to cultivate a tolerant mindset in order to successfully complete their internship. For example, such interns accept the fact that they will have to work with a variety of different people in the workplace and make an effort to get along. Effective interns make an effort to treat everyone in the workplace in an equal manner.

6. Self-confident attitude

Effective interns are self-confident and able to get the job done. They don’t feel second-rate compared to other interns and colleagues they will work with in the company during the internship. For example, effective interns have the confidence to take on new projects that a supervisor adds to their task list. They don’t allow anxiety to rule their behavior, but make an effort to confidently push forward to do what it takes to succeed.

7. Diligent work ethic

As an effective intern, you have cultivated a diligent work ethic and know the value of putting forth a diligent effort to get your work completed each day. These individuals have not taken on an internship simply to skate by without doing diligent work every day. For example, effective interns arrive to work at least fifteen minutes early each day. They wait until work is finished each day before starting to pack up. These interns don’t abuse their break time privileges and know how to be diligent in every task they complete.

8. Humble attitude

As mentioned, self-confidence is important. However, you need to balance that attitude with humility. As the saying goes pride goes before a fall. For example, you don’t want to be the intern who thinks he knows everything and jumps ahead to start a project before getting specific instructions from the internship supervisor. When humility is lacking, arrogance takes over and that pride will lead you to make mistakes. Most likely this intern mentioned in the example, could possibly lose a client for the company or make errors that delay the completion of a project.

9. Innovative mindset

Innovation is vital to success in the business and professional world. If an intern wants to be effective, he must cultivate a mindset of innovation. Being an intern is such a wonderful opportunity to learn how to grow and develop as a professional. If you can understand value in this opportunity, you will grow exponentially. For example, effective interns know how to think outside the box and bring creative solutions to their supervisor, rather than constantly coming forward with problematic situations.

10. Promise keeper

The final quality of an effective intern is that this individual knows how to be a promise keeper. They understand that when they make a promise, they should be certain that they can keep it before making it. Then when they make that promise, they’ll be so sure that they can also deliver more than they said they would. For example, if you promised during your interview that you were very organized and could handle working in a busy workplace environment, you better be sure you can deliver on that promise.

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Take your position as an intern to heart and focus on cultivating these qualities in your life so that you can become more effective. Being effectively inquisitive and accepting guidance are vital toward succeeding. Interns who know how to maintain self-control during all types of circumstances will be more effective. These interns treat everyone equally and know that tolerance is one way to succeed in the workplace. They don’t feel second-rate to others and know how to diligently work hard while being humble and self-confident at the same time. Effective interns value innovation and keep their promises.

As an intern, what do you think is one of the most important qualities of being effective in completing your internship?