4 Ways to Navigate a Successful Internship

By: Phil Burrows
Phil is an intern on the Consumer Mass Business corporate communications team and will be regularly contributing content to the Residential News Center

After navigating the route to my desk without getting lost and surviving my first few days of my internship, I reflected on how I managed. More importantly, I’ve compiled a list of tips on how to move forward to ensure the best experience out of invaluable opportunity as an intern for a nationally recognized Fortune 500 company like Verizon.  

Before we get to the tips, a quick snapshot: The summer just beginning and universities across the country are letting out. There will be thousands of students taking part in internship programs across the country. Those who have gone through rounds of interviews and finally landed an internship know that it’s a great feeling, but when reality sets in a few days before the start date, insecurities can set in and be unsettling.  Will the team like me? How do I make a goodimpression? And how many times will they ask me, “Have you see the movie “The Internship” yet?

1. Don’t be intimidated? Be Confident!

That first day can be nerve racking…but try looking at it from a different perspective. While internships are meant to be an immersive hands-on learning experience to complement your coursework, it is a mutually beneficial relationship. Companies are looking for your expertise just as much as you want to learn from theirs. Your hiring manager picked you for a reason and you chose them for a reason. As an intern, we may not have as much experience as those who have been in the business for a long time, butthat’s counter balanced with the fresh and exciting ideas we bring to the table. Come in with the right attitude and be confident in what you have to offer.

2. Be Proactive

Often it can feel like your arriving to a baseball game 6 innings late. There’s a lot going on and we have to jump right into the game with no real chance to slow it down before we even know what’s happening. This can be overwhelming at first. But, being proactive lets you catch up quickly and play an important role in in the game.  It starts by reading up and doing some homework on the company. Your goal should be to know them better than they know themselves. Will you know everything? No, but asking questions is essential. Get to know your team well, establish relationships and become acclimated to the way your team operates on a day to day basis in order to be on the same page as everyone else.

3. Voice your Ideas

If you’re proactive when starting your internship and knowledgeable on the company and their business goals then I guarantee you’ll be  exploding with ideas and potential projects. You’re there to work hard AND to bring fresh and new insight -- so don’t let it go to waste. Whether your idea is implemented or not, it shows that you’re excited about the work, actively engaged with the projects and that you care about the success of the team and company. This is not only a great way to show the team your creative skill set, but it has the potential to turn in a project that you may ultimately play a vital role in developing

4. Discover Your Professional Self, but Have Fun in the Process

While all three of the steps above are critical to making your internship successful, it can often be easy to forget the obvious. While an internship is a mutually beneficial learning experience, there is always the potential of your stint as an intern to turn into another internship within the company, or even a full-time position. Being a professional doesn’t just mean creating the best content or finishing stacks of work before the end of the day, it means doing all the little things right. Whether it means arriving a bit earlier to work, staying organized, building relationships through networking, or how you present yourself in a meeting, these are details that don’t go unnoticed. And if these details are cared for with value to the company or the project in mind, you can build yourself a solid reputation.


These tips will help you on the right foot and stand out as a leaderand stand out from the crowd  rather than “just another intern.” You have nothing to lose and all the opportunities to gain. Whether it be experience, relationships, future internships or even a full-timejob, plan ahead but flexible enough to set yourself up to succeed, rightfrom the start. It will only benefit you in the long run. And remember, make sure you have fun and enjoy the work you do, because it matters!

For more information on Verizon internships please visit Verizon Campus

Phil is an external communications coordinator, supporting public relations and integrated marketing for Verizon. His responsibilities include creating new ways to engage with the FiOS consumer base and media, both nationally and locally. While he often writes about the latest FiOS news, he also enjoys networking and discussing how technology is fueling a change in our everyday lifestyle.