Getting a college internship is a big deal. It’s basically your stepping-stone to the professional world. For this exact reason, you want to treat the position with respect – even if you have to run coffee errands and don’t get paid anything. What you will get paid in is worth much more than money. For one thing, you will get real world experience in your chosen field. For instance, if you want to become a journalist, getting an internship at a magazine or a newspaper will give you a glimpse of what life is like on the beat. As an aspiring doctor, an internship in a hospital will open your eyes to what life is really like in a hospital. Moreover, an internship will offer opportunities for references and the chance for upward mobility. The best way to respect your internship is to learn some basic etiquette. Here are five essential college internship etiquette tips.
- Arrive on Time and Dressed for the Part
Of course, you want to make sure that you arrive at your internship in the proper attire. Sure, you may want to show up in your dorm room hoody and baggy jeans, but you want to look presentable. This shows professionalism and respect.
- Don’t Say ‘Like’ All the Time
When you are on the clock, per se, you want to try and speak articulately and you want to practice refraining from using the word ‘like.’ This is especially the case during your internship interview. If you use the work ‘like’ too often – you will come off as nervous and less intelligent than you really are. On top of not using the word ‘like’ – you may also want to stay away from ‘ums’ and other sentence pausing interjections.
- Be Willing, but Also Be Gracious
As an intern, you will be there to learn, but you will also be there to add a helping hand to the working environment. This is why you don’t want to be begrudging when asked to grab coffee or food for your officemates. Ideally, you want to be as gracious as possible. The more gracious you are, the more you will embed yourself into the culture and the more you will learn.
- Understand the Importance of Paying Dues
If you are having trouble staying gracious under the fire of constant drudgework demands, you have to realize that you are paying dues. It is important to pay these dues if you want to make it to the next phase of your career, which will mostly likely be more respectable in the face of your peers. If you are getting UAB’s online marketing degree, you may be working in the mailroom of a marketing agency – it is important to learn how to be perfectly comfortable there and you want to learn how to work your way up.
- Stay Organized and Put Together
On top of everything, you want to keep your tasks organized and in one place. The more often you misplace things or forget about assignments, the easier it will be to lose your place. In the end, staying organized and on top of requests is the most important etiquette tip you can learn.