I have two permanent messages pinned to the top of daily my to-do list at Cressey Sports Performance (CSP). These insights spend the entirety of every workday within my line of sight. They impact the way I go about my life both personally and professionally. They are as follows:
- There is no luck.
- True character is revealed when no one is looking.
The second point on this brief list applies to each and every intern we guide through our program here at CSP. Most interns fail to realize that their true employability is revealed during the last week of a several month long internship. The last week is a time when interns tend to be lulled in to a false sense of security in thinking that they’ve somehow finished their task of making a positive lasting impression.
This home stretch is like the last week of high school for the senior who’s been accepted to the college of his choice and feels entirely unburdened by the stress of exams. When intern focus is left unaddressed, attention to detail tends to slip, proactive work ethics mysteriously disappear, and one foot is figuratively “out the door.”
Here’s what I’m looking for as you wrap things up with us…
I’m looking to see if you’re as engaged on day 150 as you were on day number 1. Do you have the same bounce in your step as you move from the foam rollers to the med ball area that we observed during your first week with us?
Are you still asking quality questions and demonstrating a desire to learn? Or, are you going through the motions and day dreaming about the next internship on your agenda or the series of college courses you’ve enrolled in for the coming semester?
Do your fellow interns like and respect you? Do our clients speak highly of you?
Have you established yourself as the “go-to” guy (or girl) the full-time staff members gravitate toward when they need a capable coach to walk a new client through our warm-up protocols? Or, are you the one they bypass on their way to that person?
True coaching character is revealed during the last handful of coaching shifts…
Your actual work ethic…your ability to lead…your potential value to our business…
It’s all clearly presented to me during your last few days with us at a time when you already know what your next professional stop along the way is. Interviews have already been completed. Applications have already been approved. Schedules have already been finalized. All you need to do is run out the clock on this internship and move on.
Can my clients tell you’ve checked out mentally? They most certainly can, and I can assure you that they let us know.
Just remember this…
When you list my name as a reference during a future job hunt, and that potential employer gets in touch, I’m a whole lot more likely to remember your mediocrity during the final week of your internship than I am to remember how impressive you were at the halfway point.
Make sure to finish what you started with the same momentum you carried on day one and I won’t only be saying nice things about you during a reference check; I may try to add you to my payroll.