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Have a Virtual Coffee With a Colleague

Having a Virtual Coffee With A Colleague

Week 3: Exceed Your Host Company's Expectations

The importance of Coffee Meetings

Going for a coffee or a drink with a colleague is a great way to build your professional network in Australia. Getting to know your teammates on a personal level, outside of the workplace, is how we build strong business relationships.

All relationships, business or otherwise, grow stronger when a personal connection is developed and nurtured. Personal connections at work build trust and enable greater productivity within the organisation.

Another thing to remember is that many people in Australia have been introduced to new clients, suppliers and even offered new jobs over coffee meetings!

A Valuable Learning Experience

Coffee meetings are a great way to start a conversation with your colleague or supervisor about their career, their professional background and how they got to where they are today. You might also learn some of the tips and trick they learned along the way, which might also help you in your own career.

The person you’re having coffee with may also ask you about yourself and your hopes and dreams for your career. Keep your answers work-appropriate and be prepared to ask follow-up questions for advise about the things you can do to get ahead.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a referral! By this, we mean asking your supervisor if there is anyone they could introduce you to who might be worth catching up with to explore different aspects of your industry, look to as a mentor or maybe even employment opportunities that someone in their network might have.

Virtual Coffee Meetings

Sometimes, in-person coffee meetings aren’t always possible – especially in the current COVID-19 lockdown situation! Don’t let that deter you. Send one of your colleagues an email or instant message over your workplace Slack to invite them to have coffee with you virtually.

You can both grab a drink and connect via a video conference meeting to have a conversation. Not only will you likely get some great advice, but it breaks up your routine and can give you a nice break if you are interning remotely. It will also make you feel like you are part of the team and help you to not feel lonely!

Remember, you don’t have to drink coffee to ask for or accept a coffee invitation. Your colleague won’t care if you don’t drink coffee (plus, they probably won’t even be able to see what you’re drinking! Coffee meetings are just a great way to get to know more about your host company, your colleagues and your network connections, so don’t be afraid to extend an invitation or two during your internship.

If you have any questions...

The Outcome.Life team are always here to answer any questions or help with any problems you might encounter during your internship.

You can contact us between 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday at:

Phone: 03 8899 7424

Email: hello@outcome.life

Or get in touch with us directly via the form below!

How to Handle Issues During Your Internship

How to Handle Issues During Your Internship

Week 3: Exceed Your Host Company's Expectations

Sometimes, issues occur...

Sometimes issues in the workplace arise and we’re not always sure who to speak to or what to do. This may be an issue with a colleague, your supervisor or maybe even another intern!

Don’t just expect it to resolve by itself or ignore it. This is the worst thing you can do, because communication within the workplace is paramount to developing and keeping lasting professional relationships. Often, when you’re at the beginning of your career, you may not be equipped with the skills needed to handle conflict in a professional manner and that’s okay! It’s all part of the learning experience.

Our number one tip: If anything makes you sad, angry, or uncomfortable, don’t lash out within the workplace and NEVER post about the business or any problems you are having on social media. This will definitely come back to haunt you during your career.

Instead, write down how you’re feeling, what happened to make you feel that way and how you responded to the situation at the time. If you feel comfortable enough, speak to your supervisor about the situation using “I” language (e.g. I felt uncomfortable when this happened…) and make sure you get in contact with us at Outcome.Life immediately.

Reach out to us

It’s completely normal to feel slightly overwhelmed or uncomfortable in the first few weeks of your internship. Our expectation is that your host company is doing everything they can to onboard you as part of their team, but sometimes cultural differences or personal expectations may not match with an intern and their host company. The sooner you communicate your requirements with either your host company or with Outcome.Life, the better!

In any case of discomfort or for any issues throughout your internship, you should reach out to our team at Outcome.Life. We’re here to ensure that you have the most positive experience possible at your internship and, if there is a way we can hekp to communicate any issues or clear up any problems, our experienced team of Placement Consultants will help you reach that positive outcome.

Our team will contact you on a minimum of three occasions throughout your internship. You’ll receive a call from our team in your first week, around the halfway point and in the final week. We ask you to be as honest as possible during these calls because, if you are having any issues, we can work with you and your host company to fix them.

A female international student and a male international student talking while sitting at a desk
A male international intern speaking with his Australian female mentor

The sooner, the better!

Please do not wait until your final week to tell us about problems as we may not be able to solve it at that point and we want you to have the best experience you can! Remember, you won’t get in trouble for telling us about anything you think is not quite right or unpleasant during your internship. Our team are very experienced in dealing with uncomfortable situations and we always look to put our student’s interests first when we are assessing the situation.

Lastly, please make sure you save the Outcome.Life contact details, and the details of your assigned Placement Coordinator somewhere you will be able to easily access them during your internship. This might be in your phone, your diary or on your computer. That way, if you do need to talk to us, you have the information available straight away.

If you have any questions...

The Outcome.Life team are always here to answer any questions or help with any problems you might encounter during your internship.

You can contact us between 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday at:

Phone: 03 8899 7424

Email: hello@outcome.life

Or get in touch with us via the form below!

Updating Your LinkedIn

Updating Your LinkedIn

Week 3: Exceeding Your Host Company's Expectations

The First Thing You Should Do

Remember, everything you do in your internship should be documented in your resume and, more importantly, your LinkedIn.

There are over 9 million* professionals in Australia utilising the networking capabilities of LinkedIn. It is the number one trusted source for employment referrals, validation of the work you have done and the network you’ve cultivated.

Anyone can update their resume with the fabricated content, but it’s very hard to lie on LinkedIn. This is why it has become such a trusted source, so make sure you’re using LinkedIn like a pro!

Use LinkedIn Like A Pro!

Make your profile stand out: Set a professional profile picture. This is a strong deciding factor as to whether recruiters and potential employers stay and look at your profile or leave immediately (or even whether they visit it at all). Ensure that your picture is of your head and shoulders, dress professionally, do your hair and makeup if you wear any and smile. The picture should be clear and on a professional background that is not distracting. Leave party photos or full-body shots for Facebook or Tinder!

Connect and interact with people: Now is an appropriate time to request connections with some of your team and workmates. Make sure you have had a conversation with them while at your internship before you send them a connection request. You should also write a quick note to remind them who you are and politely requesting to connect with them.

Include your internship experience: You should absolutely add your internship as part of your professional experience, however you should not describe it as an internship, or yourself as an intern. If you are doing an IT internship in front-end development, your experience should read: “Front-end developer at Company Name”.

Post engaging content: The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more people will see and interact with your posts and notice your profile. You should be re-posting or creating your own content based around your career interests and learning. If your content is engaging, you’re more likely to gain interest from industry professionals and increase your own influence within the industry.

Follow influential accounts: If there are companies you’re striving to work for, or thought leaders in your industry that you respect, follow them! Interact with them by liking and commenting on their posts. This will encourage like-minded people to interact with you and help you build a network.

By using these tips and tricks, your LinkedIn will begin to gain interest from all sorts of people… and you might even attract a job offer!

 

*Source: Osman M, 2020. Mind-Blowing LinkedIn Statistics and Facts, Kinsta, https://kinsta.com/blog/linkedin-statistics/.

If you have any questions...

The Outcome.Life team are always here to answer any questions or help with any problems you might encounter during your internship.

You can contact us between 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday at:

Phone: 03 8899 7424

Email: hello@outcome.life

Or use the form below to send us a message!

Making Your Impact as an Intern

Making Your Impact

Week 3: Exceed Your Host Company's Expectations

Be memorable, be remarkable

Being a memorable and remarkable intern requires some work on your part. People who are serious about their careers go above and beyond when it comes to showing their worth in the workplace.

Some simple ways that you can be memorable and remarkable during your internship include:

  • Always be ready to start your day at your allocated start time (e.g. if you start at 9am, arrive at 8.50am and get prepared for the day)
  • Staying 5-10 mintues later than you “have to” shows dedication
  • Getting through your tasks without delay and requesting additional work shows engagement and enthusiasm
  • Offering to help a fellow teammate on their project or tasks
  • Requesting feedback from your supervisor

These tasks might seem easy, but they do make a big difference to your supervisor’s opinion of your performance.

You might still be thinking, “Okay, but what does going above and beyond really mean?”

It’s ultimately about doing things that may not be asked of your, but that you can see as a problem to be solved or a task to be completed.

"Be memorable, be remarkable."
Domenic Saporito
Co-Founder, Outcome.Life

A perfect example...

After joining the internship program with Outcome.Life, Argho was placed with a FinTech company that have designed a payroll service add-on for businesses that allow employees to access their earned wages before payday when they need. The product helps to provide staff with access to a financial wellness platform that improves employee well-being, reduces workplace stress and increases productivity.

As an intern, Argho was offered an internship in line with his studies in IT with a primary focus on Data Analysis. He received a Training Plan prior to starting his internship which included tasks, responsibilities and learning outcomes only related to data analytics.

In the second week of his internship, Argho overheard two of the company directors discussing a financial component called “Fringe Benefits Tax”. Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) is paid by an employer on certain benefits they provide to their employees, employee’s families or other associates. FBT applies even if the benefit is provided by a third party under an arrangement with the employer. Needless to say, this is something accountants usually deal with… and has nothing to do with IT or data analytics!

Argho made a very clear decision to go home and research this topic. He then proceeded to write a report on the impacts of FBT within the business and what options may be available for this particular FinTech business.

So what happened?

The next day, Argho sent an email with the report to his supervising director, explaining his research. Needless to say, the director was incredibly pleased.

From the director’s point of view, this intern, who had only been at the company for two weeks, was showing initiative a clear understanding of the business and a willingness to go above and beyond and even into a sector separate from his IT knowledge.

As you can imagine, this was very impressive and, by the third week of his internship, Argho had secured himself a full-time position with the company

Not every internship will allow you the chance to make a bold gesture like Argho but, in every workplace, you will find someone who is under-resourced or who may need a little extra support and would appreciate your help.

So give your internship the care and attention that it deserves and try to find ways that you can go the extra mile to show your supervisor and colleagues everything you can do!

If you have any questions...

The Outcome.Life team are always here to answer any questions or help with any problems you might encounter during your internship.

You can contact us between 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday at:

Phone: 03 8899 7424

Email: hello@outcome.life