THRIVE – strategies to excel in the professional landscape



In the dynamic landscape of professional growth, embarking on an internship opens the door to invaluable opportunities. However, mere participation is not enough. As the competitive realm of internships beckons, the quest for excellence becomes paramount. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help recent graduates, career changers, or aspiring and returning professionals navigate the intricacies of intern life and leave lasting impressions in their organisations.

  1. Master punctuality

Except for occasions when you have early morning lectures on campus, you likely are not accustomed to waking up early and preparing for the day. However, as an intern, you’ll need to push yourself to wake up earlier than usual. Intentionally embrace the habit of being an early bird. Cultivate a culture of respecting time during your internship. This not only sets a positive example for your fellow interns, but also showcases your commitment and reliability.

  1. Cultivate strategic relations

Be intentional about the individuals you regularly associate with. Avoid attaching yourself to a specific person until you have a thorough understanding of your co-workers. Associating too closely with one individual can inadvertently link you to their brand and reputation. Keep in mind that each connection you establish may open doors to future opportunities.

Instead of solely socialising with fellow interns, diversify your connections by interacting with colleagues from different departments. This broadens your network and exposes you to diverse perspectives.

  1. Leverage lunch opportunities

Building professional relationships and personal rapport can be enhanced through one-on-one lunch sessions with full-time staff. As an intern, capitalise on this unique opportunity to seek career advice, ask insightful questions, and learn from seasoned professionals. Such interactions provide valuable insights into navigating the corporate landscape and advancing your career.

Unlike many Chief Executive Officers, Prince Kofi Amoabeng, President of UT Holdings, prefers to wait in line for lunch and mingle with colleagues and interns at the table. Mr. Amoabeng shares that while interns don’t usually arrange lunch meetings with him, some take the chance to initiate thought-provoking conversations. Therefore, make the most of these moments to enrich your understanding of the professional realm.

  1. Work like a full staff

Adopt the perspective of a full-time employee when tackling your internship responsibilities. In most organisations, interns are not consistently used throughout the year. Departments request and meticulously assess applications to ensure a good fit before placement.

Recognise that your selection wasn’t random; it was a deliberate choice. Exhibit dedication, initiative-taking and a proactive approach to challenges, showcasing your readiness for long-term employment. Keep in mind that every task, regardless of its scale, contributes significantly to your overall professional development and progression within the organisation.

  1. Maintain A positive outlook

Normally, you won’t be inundated with numerous work assignments during your internship. However, if you do find yourself feeling overwhelmed, view it as valuable training for your future job placement. If you’re feeling overly pressured, it’s acceptable to request a conversation with your supervisor to discuss extending deadlines for assignments.

In situations where the cafeteria food isn’t to your liking, it’s best to refrain from openly criticising it. Instead, maintain a discreet approach and allow others to voice any concerns. Also, avoid being drawn into office politics and concentrate on cultivating positive relationships with colleagues built on mutual respect and professionalism.


Mastering these strategies isn’t just a means to an end; it’s a commitment to excellence. Your internship is not a mere checkbox on your career journey; it’s a chapter filled with opportunities to learn, connect and demonstrate your potential. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week, where I will share more strategies you can leverage to thrive in your professional arena as an intern. Until then, embrace these tips and get ready for the next instalment of guidance to propel your career forward.

>>>The author is a corporate trainer, PR and publishing consultant assisting busy executives to write and publish best-selling books. He has served as Head of Protocol at a diplomatic mission, Corporate Affairs Officer at a French multinational agribusiness, and Events and Media Correspondent for a digital ad agency. You can contact the author via [email protected]

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