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Intern Rockstar: How to Stand Out from the Crowd

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A while back I wrote my first blog post on "What's a typical Intel internship like?" In response to that, a question was posed back to me, “What do we (Intel) expect from our interns?” This is a great question and I committed to elaborating more on this topic in a follow-up post.

It’s now the end of August and the majority of our 2009 interns have returned or are returning to school soon, and I’ve been speaking to a lot of them about how to position themselves for a future internship or post graduation position through our College Graduate hiring. In addition to the three things I mentioned previously (problem solving skills, willingness to embrace learning, and good communication skills), the other key expectations that have been front in my mind lately as I’ve watched this year’s intern are: do the job you got hired for and help us help you.

Do the job you got hired for

As I mentioned in my first post, Intel hires interns to do specific projects. A successful intern completes the requirements of that project as defined and on time. There will be lots of opportunities to take on interesting and fun stuff but those extra activities can’t be at the expense of the core job. In fact, the most successful interns plan time for other things as part of their schedule. They prioritize completing project deliverables on schedule in addition to scheduling time to go to intern events to meet other interns and grow their career network, set up informational interviews with key roles in their organization to learn more about how those folks got to where they are now, help others with projects that align to their skills giving them more exposure to different kinds of work, etc. However, if the core job the intern was hired for becomes at risk of not being completed successfully, the manager may require the intern to not pursue extra activities and will likely not be interested in having that person back in the future.

Help us help you

Our first CEO Andy Grovefamously said employees “own their own employability,” and while we now say it’s really more of a partnership between the manager and the employee, the employee still holds a critical role in communicating how the manager can help them grow. Interns should feel very comfortable having frank conversations with their managers. These conversations can be about what they want to do now and in the future, what they like and dislike about their current project, and what they need help on. Since interns are the first people we go to to fill the majority of our future post graduate employee positions, managers want to support the interns’ development as much as possible. The extent to which this can be done is very reliant on the manager’s understanding of his or her intern’s interests. Tell us what you need from us and we’ll help you get there.

For those of you who are beginning a new school year or semester, good luck with your fall schedule! In the meantime, we will be back on campus to recruit for CG positions as well as internships. Now that you know the expectations, both what we expect from interns and what interns can expect from us, I hope you’ll consider Intel when exploring your opportunities.

Check out our Recruiting Events Calendarto see where Intel recruiters will be.
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