One bit of advice I like to give out is this: all you've got to do is ask. This relates to proposing new ideas, but I always ask for more in almost any situation, particularly after I’ve done something good.
If you're at work, you can play these inquiries into looking for more challenges and say you’re just being opportunistic while completing your assignments. If you're at school, you can use this to get more meaningful assignments and then turn the entire experience into background for getting a recommendation.
The main point is that by asking you're not leaving anything on the table - you're generally getting every last bit of opportunity available to you!