You did it. You finally snagged that internship you’ve been dying to get. You’ve told your family, your friends, and posted on social media about your internship. Now what? Where do you go from here? Here are five tips on how to prepare for your upcoming internship.
Dress for Success and Follow the Dress Code.
You are what you wear and that statement holds true for all realms of the professional world, especially when dealing with internships. You need to dress professionally at all times when working at your internship. You also have to consider the dress code that is unique to each organization or facility. You could have a corporate culture that requires business professional clothing (suits, hosiery, and heels), business casual (sweaters and slacks), or even overall casual (jeans and a nice blouse). You might even have to have different clothing for certain events or field experiences. Always inquire about the dress code before beginning your internship. If you need professional wear on a budget, check retail stores like Express, New York and Company, and Macy’s. They have a wide selection of clothing for every dress code.
Be Prompt, and Always Early.
As with any job, do your absolute best to never be late. Employers and internship supervisors are counting on your promptness. Always plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early to every function included in your internship. If you’re commuting, give yourself enough driving and traffic time to make it to your workplace on time. Employers are giving you the opportunity to work for their organization. Don’t mess up that chance by being late.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions.
The phrase “there are no such thing as dumb questions” definitely applies to internships. Ask your internship coordinator as many questions as you need to. Most will be happy to answer them. It’s better to be informed in a moment of vulnerability than to look unprepared and unprofessional in practice. You’re representing an organization, and you don’t want to mess that up by being misinformed.
Act the Part, and Don’t Forget to Speak it too.
The world is your stage and internship is your role now; meaning that you have to look, act and speak that part as best you can. While an intern is mostly a supporting role, it is still important to the stage show of the professional world and needs to be taken seriously. Always act in a professional manner when dealing with your internship and those you serve. Speak clearly and with proper language. Avoid cursing and slang when speaking to other professionals. Not only does it make you look more professional, but it also makes you seem more qualified for your position.
Enjoy Yourself and Have Fun.
You can’t consider your internship entirely just work. While you will be working very hard, you also need to relax and have some fun with what you’re doing. Talk to your new co-workers, supervisors, and fellow interns. You can network and make new friendships that you never knew were possible. Take some time for yourself and relax. You’ll have a much better internship experience if you do.
Now that you’ve learned a little bit about how to prepare for your internship, put these tips into practice and see how much better you’ll look and feel. An internship can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re prepared properly. Good luck on your internship, and have fun!
Michelle Frye is a junior public relations and advertising double major with minors in marketing and theatre. She is a general body member of WUPRSSA and is also part of Red Brick Communications. Her future goals are to become an advertiser or public relations practitioner for the major theme park industry.