My intership has taught me loads of totally useful/crappy information. I've learned that it's not how busy you are at work, its how busy you look. Considering the ethics training I've taken please disregard the unethical information you're about to read. Let me give you a typical scenario...
Say your manager makes the off-hand comment that when you get back from class/meeting/lunch that they'll "load" you up with work to do. Most people would say, "all right, sounds like a challenge" or some BS line like that. That's a nice answer but only digs your monstrous work hole even deeper. The real answer should be, "I'm already working on multiple projects (name/details would help cover your story) but I might be able to squeeze a little time here or there." In the most sincere busy sounding voice you can manager. This makes it look like you care and want to help on the project, but in reality it's the Boeing way to evade work.
That's the first of the basics that I've developed, a second more important scenario is in response to a question your manager asks:
Manager: "this info is all wrong, the numbers don't add up, I need it fixed" [Adam's Note: was that really a question?]
Something like this is sure to come along in one of your projects/reports/whatever you're working on. A typical intern answer would be "I'm sorry, let me get on that right away and rework the numbers." Thats not a bad response, but you take all the blame. Never take ALL the blame. If you're going down, take someone with you. A correct answer should be as follows: "huh, you're right, those numbers are wrong (even if you can't tell), Jim-bob and I were working those together, if I remember right he did those numbers..." The last part really points the blame at poor Jim-bob. You better be higher up in the company than him, or at least be able to take him out into the parking lot and show him who's boss.
The third, and last scenario I have isn't really a scenario at all. It's what people refer to as "facetime". Facetime is really great, if you know how to use it. I've found that facetime needs to be managed on an hourly basis if not more frequently. Never just site at your workstation for hours on end. Sure you'd be doing your job and everybody who saw you would think so. But nobody see you while you're at your desk. It's like the computer emits some sort of camouflage signal that masks you, effectively turning you into a faceless blob. To alleviate this faceless time, walk around some. Have reasons to get up and move about. My personal favorite is, "I'm so sore from (generic activity)[Adam's Note: I took this kid wakeboarding with me... boy he sucked], I can't keep still." Make sure that the right people know you're sore and keep a running dialogue for days at a time until the soreness has to disappear. Then reinvent the soreness with a new activity. Another idea I've discovered is to look up (whoever your trying to get facetime with) in the calendar and start attending the same meetings. John Does sees you at their meeting and probably won't take notice. Don't be defeated by this one meeting. Attend different meetings that they do. This doesn't mean that you have to keep attending every different meeting John Does has, just show up every once in a while. A couple times a week can't hurt you! Rotate the meetings, for maximum face time without getting "disovered".
Wow, so, I used to think this guy was somewhat smart... but I seriously fixed like 100 grammatical errors in there... and I probably let some slip by, because you're not really suppose to read what you're transposing.