Written By: Katie Ivancic
Congrats! You've landed your dream internship (hopefully at Scotiabank)! Now you want to make the most out of your time at the company, but where do you even start?
The first thing to remember is that just doing your 9 to 5 job is the expectation. If you hope to get a full-time offer, return for another internship, or maybe even land yourself a spot in one of our amazing TILT new grad programs, you need to be a high performer. Going above and beyond, even in small ways, shows your manager that you are ready for the next challenge. As someone who has done both a four-month internship and a one-year contract at Scotiabank, here are some tips and tricks that I have used to make the most of my time and land that full-time role!
- Having a great attitude goes a long way. Many people underestimate the power of positivity and how much a great attitude can impact a team for the better! To make the most out of your internship, always come to work excited. It is important that you are eager to learn and are optimistic no matter what the challenge may be. People enjoy being around positive individuals, and there is nothing worse than trying to work with someone who is grumpy or negative! We say “have good AOO (attitude, ownership, opportunity)” for a reason and it is because it works!
- Team Player Tasks (No work is beneath you). Show that you care about your team’s overall success by volunteering to do team player tasks. These tasks are not specific to your role but help the team’s operations go smoothly. Offering to write meeting minutes for everyone to reference or sending an action item follow-up email after a project call can show how committed you are. Not all work will be glamourous since we complete some sort of administration task at every job level. By offering to sit in on a meeting that you don’t technically have to attend shows that you care and may even help you learn more about a project!
- Know what your superpower is, and be proud of it! Maybe you are a whiz at Microsoft Excel formulas, or you’re able to make and design amazing PowerPoint slides, or perhaps you’re a strong writer who can write compelling statements. Knowing what your superpower is helps you become reliable within your team and gives your colleagues something to associate you with. They will go to you first when they know they need advice or assistance, which helps you become a very valuable contributor to the team! Whatever it is, use it and make it known as to what makes you unique!
- Question (almost) everything! Use the advantage of having a fresh set of eyes to critically look at the process of how your team is completing a project or task. Respectfully asking, “why do we do it that way?” can help start the conversation to make your team even better. If you can look at projects, processes, and strategies and develop a more streamlined, innovative way of doing things, you are demonstrating leadership potential. All successful C-Suite executives must make important decisions by evaluating the cost, efficiency, and value of their employees’ contributions and seeing how they can improve.
- Get out of your comfort zone! This tip may seem scary, but the reward is worth it. Applying to join a social committee, volunteering to be part of an employee campaign, or even hosting a virtual coffee break for your co-workers to unwind are great ways to show you are committed to the organization. Tasks like these that are not mandatory are great ways to stand out and contribute to the greater team.
- Find yourself a good mentor. Your development is important at every stage of your career, even more so during your internships. During this time, find a good mentor! You do not need to formally ask someone to be your official mentor. Putting a re-occurring meeting in their calendar once a month where you come prepared to talk about situations you need advice with will be very beneficial. A mentor will guide you in your career development on less technical questions and be a resource for you to lean on. Plus, your mentor can be your advocate if you want to return to the organization!
- Coffee chats! Most people are willing to talk about their career journey and advice they have for those just starting their career journey. Take advantage of the fact that you have access to other people’s calendars within the company and set up coffee chat to see if the role they are currently in is potentially your dream job! Sending a nice introduction email and asking someone for 15-30 minutes of their time is a very easy way to get connected and learn about other business lines and teams.
- Set goals for yourself! At the start of the term, think about three goals that you would like to achieve by the end of your internship. They can be as small as wanting to be able to do a pivot table on Excel or as big as wanting to own the marketing communication of a product launch. These goals can be about physical tasks, self-development, learning, character growth, communication. Whatever they are… they just need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). Lastly, share these goals with the person who will be completing your performance evaluation, so they know what you are working towards.
Congrats on getting the job, now make sure to go out and make the most out of this opportunity!
For more helpful career tips and to learn about our TILT New Graduate Development Programs, check out our Life at Scotiabank blog page!