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How to ask for more work as an intern with confidence

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes 

As an intern, you want to make the most of your time with a company. However, once you've finished your initial assignments, you may find yourself feeling like there's nothing left for you to do

Asking for more work can be intimidating, but it’s an important way to gain real-world work experience and make a positive impression. If you find yourself having idle time at the office, follow my top five tips on how to ask for more work as an intern so you make the most of your internship. 

5 tips for interns who want more work in the office 

1. Show initiative.

Don't wait for your leader to assign you additional tasks. If you want to take on more work, you need to be proactive about finding opportunities you can help tackle. Try:

  • Offering to help with ongoing projects.
  • Suggesting new projects you can work on.
  • Volunteering to take on smaller opportunities, like taking notes in a meeting or coordinating team events.

It's normal to feel intimated by the idea of doing this, but stepping outside your comfort zone will be worth it in the long run to help you shape your career path.

2. Find opportunities for development.

Finding ways to grow your professional skills as an intern is key to gaining valuable experience and preparing for your future career.

Your internship is the perfect time to figure out what specific areas you are interested in and where you have gaps in your skillset.

You can do this by:

  • Looking for tasks that allow you to learn new skills.
  • Attending meetings to find out what others are working on.
  • Participating in training sessions or workshops.

3. Communicate your availability.

When you’re thinking about how to politely ask for more work as an intern, one important step is to let your leader know your availability.

Send your leader an email at the start of the week outlining:

  • Your schedule for the week.
  • What tasks will you be getting done. 
  • A timeline of when you can complete each project.
  • Ideas of what extra tasks you’d like to take on.
  • How much extra time you’ll have to complete those tasks.

4. Network with colleagues.

Talking with your team members is a great way to learn about different projects and opportunities within your department. Take the time to get to know your colleagues and show you’re interested in assisting them by:

  • Attending company events and social outings to meet new people.
  • Setting up coffee meetings with team members.
  • Shadowing your colleagues to learn more about their roles and responsibilities.

Before you do these things, meet with your leader to get approval and make sure it’s something you can do. Your leader can also help you set up the meetings and introduce you to your team members.

5. Seek feedback.

Asking for feedback on your work is a great way to improve your skills and show your leader that you're serious about your internship.

Be proactive about receiving feedback by:

Remember, the more you put into your internship, the more you'll get out of it!

Set yourself apart from the crowd.

Make your work stand out by checking out our seven tips on how to be creative and innovative at work. 
About the author
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Danielle Thornton is a marketing professional with more than 12 years of agency and corporate experience. As a digital marketing manager at Schneider, Danielle leads strategies across multiple platforms, using the power of data-driven insights to optimize marketing efforts. Her love for the fine arts and theatre fuels her creative approach.    
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