5 College Internship Etiquette Tips

A college internship is a little bit like the bridge between your collegiate experience and embarking on your career. Not only is an internship important for absorbing and learning on-site knowledge and developing a hands-on skill set, but it can also give you the experience you need to succeed once you land a more permanent position. And because your internship is not permanent, there are some etiquette basics that you need to keep in mind. Not only do you want to impress your employers, but you also want a good reference when you leave. If you broke the rules, didn’t take things seriously or were rude – there is a good chance you will get a negative reference, which could jeopardize your entire career. Here are five college internship etiquette tips.

  1. Don’t be late. This is a basic one – don’t come to your internship late or tardy. You may think it’s okay to be a little late – because it’s an internship and you aren’t getting paid – but it is critical to arrive exactly on time. Sure, you are not getting paid, but if you visited http://www.healthadministrationdegree.usc.edu and went through the whole process of getting your degree, why mess it all up now by being late and disrespectful?
  2. Wear a suit or appropriate clothing. Sure, you are in college, but that doesn’t mean you should wear your study outfit to work. In the professional world, sweatpants, sneakers and a hoody just won’t cut it, so make sure that you wear a suit, scrubs or whatever else you are required to wear, because you don’t want to be reprimanded for breaking the dress code. At the end of the day, breaking a certain dress code is not only immature, but it is also not very professional.
  3. Turn off your phone. When it comes down to it, you don’t even want to have your cell phone on – you can wait until your break to turn on your phone. In an internship environment, you don’t want to be buried in your cell phone texting or chatting with friends. Not only is this unprofessional, but it is also disrespectful – to your co-workers and your employer. So, it may be important to find a way to practice being away from your phone.
  4. Don’t talk about non-work topics at work. At your internship position, it may be hard to differentiate the environment from the one you have created with your friends at college, but it is vital that you do create a dividing line. There is a good chance that if you didn’t that you would either be fired from your internship position, or you wouldn’t get a very good reference from your internship employer.
  5. Always be polite. In an internship capacity, you should be eternally grateful for the opportunity – even if you aren’t getting paid. When it comes down to it, your internship could mean the difference between embarking on the career of your dreams, or struggling for a few years trying to figure out what to do next. So, make sure to always express your gratitude through your demeanor and your actions. In most internship capacities, you only get one shot.

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