Mastering the Little Things - The Stepping Stone to Bigger Responsibilities

Posted on Friday, Feb 22, 2019

Being involved is a key part of making the most of your internship.  But before you can move onto bigger and better things you have to show that you can be trusted with such responsibilities.  This can be done by mastering the little things. 
  • Stay on top of menial assignments
    • While internships do not solely consist of performing coffee runs, most have some small tasks that you will have to do.  For example, I am responsible for getting the newspaper each morning, keeping the Keurig filled with water, and loading/unloading the dishwasher when necessary.  Staying on top of these tasks will show that you are attentive to your work.
  • Be thorough
    • I am tasked with researching information ranging from Congressional delegate information to government uses for blockchain technology.  During this research I am mindful of what the reader (my colleagues in the office) might know or not know about certain subjects. Going back to blockchain technology, I did additional research into how blockchain technology actually works and included in my final version of the my notes so that it would be easier to interpret for my colleagues.  Being thorough in your work will further establish trust and it can make you the expert on something in the office!
  • Think ahead
    • Showing proactiveness in your work is a surefire way to build trust. Take a step back briefly and think about what would be beneficial to your office that currently isn’t there.  My office, which represents the whole Texas A&M University System, interacts with the Texas Congressional members frequently and needs to know what system entities are in each district as well as committee assignments.  However, all of that information was not consolidated into a single document, so I took initiative and created it.  This document is not only useful now, but will be well into the future after I am gone, as it is to modify.  Doing things like this well leave a good impression on your supervisor, who will be more willing to give you more responsibilities going forward.
It can be intimidating starting your internship, but if you show willingness to do the little things, it will open many doors for you.  Showing that you can be trusted to get your work down will make your supervisor more flexible in giving you time to go attend events that interest you! Take every chance you have to learn something new as well. There is no better time to do this than when you are intern!

Christopher Leshikar
Texas A&M University System Federal Relations Office
Washington, D.C. | spring 2019