Do you want to be the best intern possible? Check out the list below for some helpful tips!
Be the best dressed intern: As stressful as interviews may be, the first impression is crucial to how the rest of the interview may go. If you present yourself in an appropriate, clean, and classy way, the interviewer will view you as a respectable advocate for the position you are applying for. After researching the atmosphere of the company, choose whether business professional or business casual is the right choice when dressing for your interview.
If the answer is business professional consider this:
Ladies: Black or navy suit (either skirt or pant suit), closed-toed black or navy heels/flats (depending on color of suit), solid color dress shirt underneath, hair styled, and clean nails.
Men- black or navy suit, tie, dark dress shoes, white dress shirt, and clean shaven.
If the answer is business casual consider this:
Ladies- black/navy dress pants or skirt, dress (appropriate length), flowy top (avoid too much skin showing), and heels or flats.
Men- Black or khaki pants, dress shirt, sports coat, and dark shoes.
Have a good attitude: Even if the work you’re doing is not exactly what you want to do, you want your employers to think that you’re loving every second of this opportunity. Also, displaying a happy attitude makes people more likely to want to work with you! Always have a smile and be willing to take on any task given to you.
Network whenever possible: The goal when you intern with a company is to start networking. Internships open the door to countless events, employees, or companies that are in the area. It is a smart idea to network in order to get your name out there. The more people see you and recognize your name, the more you will be considered for a position you might want. I know from personal experience, speaking to employees I met and making good impressions helped me network later. Of course, do not socialize with fellow professionals how you would with your friends. Make sure you think about what you are saying. Network whenever you can because you never know who it may be.
Be Flexible: Every organization works differently. One of the best ways to make the most out of your internship is to be flexible. The idea of flexibility is to be able to do projects differently than you normally do. This specifically applies to students that have not had an internship before. If you are use to classes and schooling, starting an internship can be a new transition. It is important to be open minded and adapt to how the organization works.
Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up: As an intern it can be scary to speak up if you have ideas or questions. However, an internship is supposed to be a learning experience. It is important to ask questions regarding the project you’re working on. If you have a creative idea or input, speak up! The company liked you enough to hire you as an intern, you should feel comfortable to speak and give good insight. You never know, they may like the idea and how great would that feel? Don’t be afraid and let your voice be heard.
Do you have an internship this semester? Are you going to complete an internship before graduating? Let us know below!
-Erin Fouhy, Sarah Garner, Caitlin Rodermund, and Megan Suggs.
Another good suggestion would be: if you’re on time, you’re late. Always be early and willing to stay late. This tip ties into your “be flexible” paragraph which is also a great tip to carry over into your job post-internship. Great tips for those seeking internships– thanks for sharing!
Hi Caroline! Thank you for commenting. We completely agree with you! You should always be early, especially at a job or internship.
This is a very helpful post! Each of these items are critical to obtain, and maintaining an internship. These tips are also applicable to post-internship positions as well, as it was mentioned above. Though these are all important tips, networking is the most significant in my book. Networking is really the best way to get your foot in the door of companies of interest. I must also say that I fully agree with the comment above – if you are on time, you are late.
I like this post because of its helpful reminders about what you should and should not do for an internship. My favorite tip is not to be afraid to speak up. Sometimes I feel as though my opinion doesn’t matter as much because of my status in an organization. However, it is important to realize that you will most likely not progress very far if you don’t get your voice heard by those who are ranked above you. If an internship is meant to get you acclimated to the work force and give you networking connections, you shouldn’t be afraid to let them get to know you!
I found this post very interesting and useful. I am actually going to meet people tomorrow for an internship, so I’ve been very nervous as of what to wear and what to say because I always feel bad for asking people to help me out. I feel like I would owe them back for that. I agree with all the tips you gave, but my favorite is to have a good attitude. I believe it’s one of the most important tips because if you stay positive and have a passion for everything you do, everything is going to turn out great. Also, when you have a good attitude you bring a positive atmosphere to people who you work with, which would affect you positively and they would want to work with you even more. Thank you for all the tips, I will definitely use them for my interviews tomorrow and will be dressed the way you suggested.
I’m an international student from France and I study in UNCW for one semester. I’m looking for an internship in the communication department of a company or in a media and I find this article interesting because it’s always difficult when we are in an country to understand and to assimilate his culture and particularly the companies culture.
But this article makes me serene because I see that the way of behave in a company when you are intern is quite the same as in my home country, Good for me !
As someone who is currently going through the internship application process, this post is especially helpful! While I had a prior knowledge from past classes on the difference between business professional and business casual for both men and women, the other four provided tips are also just as helpful! I found it comforting in how internships and the overall process is not as scary as one thinks; and although we are just interns, our questions and ideas are also respected, therefore it is also important to speak up. Lastly, I also found it extremely helpful in how essential networking, being flexible and having a good attitude is in securing a successful internship experience. Thanks for all the useful tips!