A Senior's Perspective: Be a Helper

One of the things that I have learned through this internship at the Auburn University Career Center is the value of hard work. Every week may not be packed full of tasks, and there may be times when I feel like I have nothing to do. There are, of course, other times when I'm begging for no more tasks.

The lesson learned from this realization is this: A great employee is the one who takes advantage of the down times. It’s not wise to take on additional tasks or volunteer to help when things are already piling high on your desk. However, those days that aren’t quite as frantic are the perfect times to ask around for who needs help or take initiative on a project. This not only takes the load off another coworker or your boss, but it also can have some intrinsic value. Doesn’t it feel good when you help out? So, why not help out!?

Michelle Tillis Lederman, author of "The 11 Laws of Likability" and founder of Executive Essentials, a corporate training and coaching company based in New York, NY, said, “Pursue the relationships that feel authentic to you to expand your resources, knowledge base and support network, and offer your help. If you don't have anything to do, find something. Build your brand as someone who pitches in."

Another thing to highlight while we’re “pitching in,” is to maintain a positive attitude. The importance of a good attitude cannot be stressed enough. It really can be the difference maker in whether or not you get a job offer.

One of my friends completed her internship in accounting this spring and received a job offer from a Big Four accounting firm in the city of her choice. When the bosses called her in to offer her the job they told her that the thing they loved about her was that she remained positive and uplifting through her entire internship. She later confided in me that she had actually made some mistakes and at times wasn’t 100 percent positive she was doing the right thing. She is incredibly smart, but this was her first time to do real, outside of the classroom accounting work. She didn’t feel extremely confident in all of her decisions and actions because she wasn’t positive that they were correct. However, she also told me that she realized that the only thing she could control was her attitude and outlook. Her knowledge base is only so deep right now, but she could smile, be nice and have a good attitude. For those very things she got a job offer.

For this reason, I stress to you to make the most of your time at your work or internship. Your helping out, smiling or maintaining a positive attitude could be the difference between being unemployed and employed.

Paige Robinson '12
Career Center Intern

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