10 Ways to Impress your Senior
Happy Senior, Higher Rating, Bigger Bonus!
Here we go – 10 Ways to Impress Your Senior:
1. Take Notes
Seriously, write everything down in a notebook. I don’t care if your memory rivals Rain Man, it’s practically impossible to remember every detail your senior gives you. If you don’t take notes, it will give your senior heartburn…and heartburn leads to gas. And when your senior gets gas, everyone loses.
2. Organize your Questions
I know you’re busy, but trust me, your senior is busier. So if you are constantly peppering him or her with one-off questions, you’re going to get on their nerves. When possible, organize all of your questions in a logical fashion and ask the senior for 10 minutes of their time. This will maximize everyone’s productivity and your senior should appreciate it.
3. Offer Solutions to your Questions
Leverage firm resources, prior year work-papers and your own creative brain juice to offer the senior solutions to your questions. They don’t have to be correct, but doing so demonstrates your resourcefulness, self-reliance and problem solving ability.
4. Randomly Bring Bagels to Work
Seniors love to eat.
5. Raise your Hand
The top-rated interns and first-years are HUNGRY. They have an insatiable appetite for taking on more work. Knocking out your assigned tasks and then volunteering to add more work to your plate will lessen your senior’s burden, enhance your technical abilities and make you stand out as a top performer.
6. If you think something is wrong, SPEAK UP!
Best case: You just found a $5 Trillion error. You’re instantly promoted to partner.
Worst case: Nothing is wrong. But, you demonstrated your professional skepticism, critical thinking ability and communication skills.
I know it can be unnerving to speak up because you don’t want to come off like an idiot…but trust me, you won’t. How else are you going to learn?
7. Rehash your Senior’s Instructions
It is best practice to summarize your to-do’s with your senior immediately after they assign you a task. This will ensure there is no confusion on your end as to what needs to be done, meaning the end product should be in-line with your senior’s expectations.
8. Don’t Complain about Menial Tasks
You’re going to have to order dinner for your team. You’re going to have to scan a 90 page document to your senior manager. These tasks aren’t fun, I get it. But you can’t complain…every single person in public accounting was the low man (or woman) on the totem pole at one point. Stay positive – your team will appreciate it.
9. Eat Lunch with the Team
This is the best time to connect with your seniors outside of work. The closer the personal connection, the better your review (typically). So if your team likes to go out to eat, go out to eat. If they like to bring lunch, pack a PBJ. Creating professional relationships at the beginning of your career is way more important that saving a buck or eating something delicious.
10. Lead a Client Meeting
Ask your senior if you can lead a client meeting. Have them tag along to make sure you stay on track, but this will demonstrate leadership and preparation. Plus, it will help you create relationships with the client, whose input can also have a big effect on your final valuation.
When I worked at PwC, these were the most consistent traits that top performing interns and associates demonstrated.
That’s not to say that top performers were always perfect; there is an expectation that all ‘newbs’ will mess up at some point. It’d be weird if they didn’t – I mean it’s a hard job. So don’t get bogged down if you feel like you can’t deliver on all of these tips, all of the time.
At the end of the day, show-up on time, act professionally and maintain a positive attitude. If you can make your senior’s life just a tad less stressful, you’re on track to exceed expectations.
Curious as to what to expect during your internship? Wondering if a first-year has the same expectations as an intern? Have some other questions? Hit us up – firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. We’re here to help.