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The first day nerves, the countless names I had to remember, the first impression that I was leaving – there were so many thoughts going on and it all revolved around:

“How can I learn everything, impress everyone, and be memorable in the limited time I had?”

One full year later as an Associate Predictive Analytics Product Manager, here were five ways I made my internship experience the best one I’ll ever have and how you can too!

 

  1. Strive to Push Yourself, Better Your Team, and Help the Community
  2. Challenge Yourself with Curiosity
  3. Be Authentic and Purpose Driven
  4. Go Beyond with the Power of 2+
  5. Use Failure as a Redirect

 

Strive to Push Yourself, Better Your Team, and Help the Community

The opportunities are endless in an internship, simply pick areas you are passionate about or that are completely new to you and see how you can help. Rather than waiting for tasks to come my way, I dived deep into the nitty gritty so I could ramp up quick and be able to take on projects that helped improve the product I worked on – SAP Analytics Cloud focusing on the predictive/smart features. For the community, I took on a leadership position outside of my job to restructure career development for the intern community.

Questions I found helpful revolved around how I could further support and what else could I take on, while challenging any other alternatives that could be taken to strengthen the existing idea on the table.

Where do you want to push boundaries?

 

Challenge Yourself with Curiosity  

You have a unique advantage as an intern – a fresh perspective. Pair that perspective with curiosity and you will create innovative ideas from the inclusiveness of diverse thoughts and opinions in your team. This was the first time I got to work with development, UX, and customer experience teams so I always made sure to show my perspective on things to help challenge the status quo and improve the ultimate outcome – a better product experience for customers.

In doing so, I was creating a level of trust with my colleagues that they could count on me to help explore ideas or provide a creative spin on things the next time around.

What are you curious about?

 

Be Authentic and Purpose Driven

The first tip I have is to allow others to guide you to who you want to become. To do so, bring your authenticity and purpose into the workplace. One of my goals coming into this experience was to refine my ability to be creative when exploring solutions. Being purpose driven and showing what areas I wanted to improve on helped showcase my ambition to better myself and by extension, to help improve my teams’ performance.

In bringing my authentic self to work and communicating a list of accomplishments that I wanted to get out of my internship, it allowed me to utilize my strengths to lead meaningful projects and tackle my weaknesses.

How do you show up at work?

 

Go Beyond with the Power of 2+

Not only should you bring the highest level of quality in your work, but what is more important is that you try and think 2 steps ahead of everyone else. What will happen after you complete this task, will the receiver need a review session with you? If so, set it up and embrace your proactivity fully, going beyond what is expected and thinking ahead.

Create opportunities for others to champion your work so your efforts are not wasted!

How many steps can you think ahead?

 

Use Failure as a Redirect

Realized that what you completed may not be what was expected? It’s okay to be wrong, just make sure you are ready to bounce back every time and focus on improving the next time around. I learned the most from situations where I got to fix and reflect on my mistakes and encouraged myself to be comfortable with failure.

How can you do it better the next time?

 

Keep these five thoughts in mind and guaranteed you will set yourself up to learn everything, impress everyone, and be memorable! It’s up to you how your impact will be seen, so how do you want others to tell your iXp story?

Good luck!
Benton

Benton has completed a one year internship as an Associate Predictive Analytics Product Manager for SAP Analytics Cloud. Driving the implementation of predictive features within the product, he wears the hats of a UX designer, developer, product marketer, and the end customer. Also, he thrives to ensure professional and personal development for others which pushed him to lead and restructure career development opportunities for the Vancouver Intern Community.

 

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2 Comments

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  1. Jelena Perfiljeva

    Nice post! Not sure about “everything” but I think you can definitely check that “learn to write catchy titles” checkbox. 🙂

    Congratulations on your internship completion and good luck in your future endeavors!

     

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  2. Jamie Cantrell

    Congratulations on your internship & taking the next step in your career path. Unfortunately, though, you seem to have missed one of the core qualities of good leaders: modesty. If you think you’ve already “learned everything” and “impressed everyone,” you’re giving yourself no room to grow or learn from the brilliant, seasoned people around you who are undoubtedly more knowledgeable and unimpressed. One millennial to another, I have to admit I cringed when I read your headline. You have a good start here on how to approach your work, but maybe finding modesty as a leader should be #6 on your list. I think you’ll find this opens more doors than walking around thinking you know everything and that everyone is very impressed with you. (It’s a common mistake made by high achievers just getting started in their careers.) Otherwise, your post is well-written and I’m sure other interns will benefit from the advice you’ve shared. I expect to see great things from you in your future here at SAP.  Cheers!

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