Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Starting Your Spring Internship on the Right Foot

This past semester you have spent researching, prepping, and interviewing to land an internship. For some of you it may be the perfect internship and you could not be more excited, for others you may be dreading this unpaid graduation requirement. For all of you, however, congrats are in order. Landing an internship is not easy, and takes time and resources to do so. Here are seven tips to get the most out of it.

1. Dress the part. Before you show up in an inappropriate outfit make sure to ask your supervisor the dress code. We at the career center recommend that if you are uncertain of what that means to please contact a career counselor, or at the very least over dress. Better to be overdressed than to be underdressed and embarrassed.

2. Be put together. Do not show up on your first day looking sloppy. Studies have shown that people are more likely to put positive attributes to a person that is physically attractive, also known as the halo effect. And while this is grossly wrong, it always helps to make a good first impression.
3. Plan ahead. If you have never been to the site before, look it up. Figure out the proper route. Do not decide the night before is the perfect night to celebrate being 21. Staggering in on your first day is a mistake you do not want to make. It may seem like overkill for some of you doing menial tasks, but sometimes a little sacrifice is necessary.

4. Arrive early. With many internships, employers will be looking at their interns to see if they are right for their company. This means that they want to see good work ethic. If waking up is not your thing, you need to go to bed early and set as many alarm clocks as
you need. I once had a professor who always said “If you’re early, you’re on time. if you’re on time, you’re late. And if you’re late, you’re embarrassed.”

5. Be professional. This means being respectful to your fellow interns and employees. This includes social media, peeps. You need to be aware that your social media is a part of your marketing. If you google yourself and do not like what you see, then things need to change.

6. Don’t blow off this internship. If you’re internship is not one to lead to a job, that is okay! This is all a part of experiential learning, and it will be helpful whether you get a job or not. This internship can lead to a glowing reference, an opportunity for networking, or a better understanding of what you want to do in your career. You never know the opportunities or skills that can arise simply from being in a workplace.

7. Make friends. You don’t know what kind of people you will meet on site. It is important to keep an open mind when meeting people. This internship can either fly by or drag on for months all depending on your co-workers. Some of the best people in my life I would never have met if it were not for the places I have worked.

Wishing you all the best of luck!!

Kristi Riecker

Career Fellow 

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