July is looming and internship season is in full swing. While the excitement of #adulting is hopefully still there, you are also starting to feel reality set in. You may be getting comfortable but, this is actually the critical point to kick it into high gear and become the intern your supervisors will never forget.
Always have something to do.
Starting from day one and all the way until the final day of your internship, you need to hit the ground and never stop running. There should never be a moment when you have nothing to do. Trying to go home early? DON’T. Ask how you can help your boss or brainstorm new ideas you can pitch to them. Your job is to make their life easier and bring new ideas to the table. Many opportunities will come your way, so jump at every single one of them. Doing this will show your boss that you are responsible and someone they can count on no matter what.
Dress to impress.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can never be overdressed or over-educated?” This holds true throughout your internship. At the very minimum, know your office dress code and follow it. There is absolutely no reason to wear $1 flip flops to the office and (as I’d like to call) weekend clothes. Like it or not, people will form impressions of you based on how you are dressed. Every day you will be surrounded by important people. Would you rather have them see you as put together and professional or as lazy and sloppy? In addition, I’m a firm believer that your appearance strongly correlates with you attitude. Dressing well increases your confidence and makes you ready to tackle the day.
Form genuine relationships.
While working, you need to find the appropriate balance between getting to know your coworkers/managers on a personal level and maintaining professional relationships. You don’t want to be a robot and you also don’t want to go unfiltered. Find common interests, show compassion, and ask how people are doing. If you are working in a new city, ask for suggestions on places to visit and eat. Everyone loves giving their opinions on fun things to do. Communication is key and you are more likely to be remembered if you can be friendly, productive, and approachable at the same time.
Make “thank you” a regular part of your vocabulary.
This should go without saying, but thank your employer for absolutely everything. They weren’t required to hire you and there were probably many other qualified candidates. Honestly, they probably weren’t even required to have any interns in general. Stay humble and never forget how lucky you are to be there. This internship could become your future job, serve as a contact for a future employer, or be something you talk about in future interviews. Good manners go a long way. Don’t throw all of your hard work down the drain by failing to show you are grateful.
Stay in Touch
When your internship ends, don’t cut your ties. Maintain the relationships that you have formed and stay in touch. If you follow each other on social media, comment or like a few of their posts. Consider emailing them if you have any major life updates you think they’d like to hear, especially if it can be related to their business or your time working there. Your past coworker can write you Letters of Recommendation, serve as a reference, and even connect you with other professionals in the industry. Are you visiting the area after being gone for a while? Try to schedule a lunch or coffee break to spend some time catching up. There are so many ways you can benefit from an internship long after it has ended… All of which keeps you on their mind.
Internships can be difficult to navigate. It’s a whole new world and you never know what to expect. If you ever need advice on intern etiquette, reach out to one of our Executive Board members! We have all been there and would love to help.
This blog was written by our VP of PR, Brigitte Meisse. Brigitte is a junior pursuing a double major in journalism/strategic communication and communication studies. She is currently in the middle of her second internship, so don’t hesitate to reach out to chat. Tweet at her on Twitter @meisse2spicy