Have you secured yourself an internship? Congratulations, this is a great step towards starting your career! Internships are a great way to use your academic knowledge and apply it in the real world. Nothing will stand out more on a CV than having real world experience and an internship is one of the best ways to do this.
An internship is not exactly plain sailing. It can be difficult and it is supposed to challenge you. After all, it will give you insight into whether you have chosen the right path.
There are internship etiquettes you should make yourself familiar with before you start. We have written you this handy blog that you should make yourself familiar with before you start an internship. Consider this like an internship survival guide and if you stick to these we are confident that you will do well!
“Dress to impress”
You have probably heard of the term “first impressions matter”. Consider it a rule to live by because it matters a lot as internship etiquette! When we talk about first impressions we are not just talking about your manners and behavior (which is important too of course) but the first thing people see is your appearance.
Especially when it is your first day at a new job, your appearance will play a huge role in how others perceive you. You want to of course make a good impression because after all, the way you dress and take care of your appearance says a lot about you as an individual.
Another internship etiquette that is perhaps not spoken about a lot is to please please take a shower before coming to work. Use body spray and if you have a beard nicely trim it or shave it off altogether. There is nothing worse than someone who has no personal hygiene and you do not want to draw eyes on your first day, especially for all the wrong reasons!
We also really suggest you do your homework before your first day to research what kind of company you will be interning in. There is nothing worse than embarrassing yourself on the first day by coming completely underdressed or overdressed. Not only that, but this will also leave a bitter taste with your supervisors or those who hired you as they will receive some comments from other colleagues or your boss.
Therefore another internship etiquette that is highly recommended is to research what the company culture is like. Here is an important note, ask what the dress code is like during your interview stage. It will save you the hassle of overthinking what outfit to wear and more importantly embarrassing yourself on the first day!
The ideal internship etiquette is that you want to look professional. If you dress too casually, your colleagues and seniors will think that you will not take this internship seriously. Unless the company culture clearly states casual attire is accepted, don’t be afraid to upgrade your look to a more smart casual look, as we said, first impressions matter!
What you essentially have to take away from this is that you need to dress to fit the company culture.
Remember: It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed!
Mind your manners and behavior
Now onto the next stage, hopefully, you would have cleared making a great first impression appearance-wise but now we come to the tricky part, your behavior and manners.
The way you interact says a lot about you as a person. An essential internship etiquette is therefore to always be on your best behavior when in the work environment and be respectful and professional. Leave your personal ego at home, there is no room for that in any work environment.
Remember: You are here to learn and gain valuable experience!
This might sound a little creepy but your behavior will also be closely watched. Not necessarily the government but your superiors and your colleagues. So another internship etiquette is to always be on your best behavior, be friendly, kind, approachable, and basically behave in a professional manner that will leave a good impression on your seniors and coworkers.
The reality is that you will be given the chance to work with people from all walks of life, different generations, ages and backgrounds. It is up to you to treat everyone with equal respect. Behaving in a mature and respectful manner with everyone is extremely important. Consider this a daily motto to live by before you enter the workplace.
An internship etiquette that is understated is to always remember to watch what you say. Everything you say can be used against you. If the workplace is an extremely professional one, leave informal language or colloquialisms like “dude” and “gotcha” at home. Save those for your friends and family, as they have no room in your work environment. This leads us back to our previous point, really research what the work environment is like!
You also have to spend time learning how to write emails in a professional manner. Trust us, this will help you tremendously and you will be sending out a lot of them.
Lastly, don’t stay glued to your phone. Spend time actually socializing with your colleagues. Show genuine interest and build relationships with them. You will not achieve the same relationship with them through your phone.
Remember: You own your phone, not the other way around. Keep it on silent mode to avoid disturbing others and really mingle with your coworkers!
Communication is key!
Many people tend to underestimate the importance of good communication. Believe it or not but a lot of the issues are the cause of bad communication and can be solved (surprise surprise) through good communication! Good communication is a significant internship etiquette to succeed in the workplace.
This is something you need to live by as well when you do your internship, is to always be communicative.
Firstly, a basic internship etiquette is to never be afraid to ask questions. You are there to learn of course and you cannot learn if you do not ask questions. By asking questions, it also showcases your interest and wanting to learn. Asking questions really does help improve communication so ask away!
This internship etiquette is important so take some notes! Ask for help. You are an intern, it is not expected that you know everything. While you can always fall back on your academic knowledge, nothing beats real world experience. If you don’t know the answer to something or how to solve an issue please do not be afraid to ask. If you ask politely your colleagues and seniors would be more than happy to help you!
It is also highly encouraged you spend time getting to know the work environment and how everything works. Making yourself familiar with this will make your life easier in the long run and if you run into any issues or looking for particular solutions, you know who to ask!
Did you know that 85% of jobs are filled as a result of networking? That is right, networking plays such a crucial role in landing jobs. Doing an internship provides you with the perfect opportunity to surround yourself with the right kind of people. Introduce yourself to seniors or industry professionals in your field. This internship etiquette signifies the importance of spending time with people who can contribute to your growth. Making valuable connections will play a crucial role in your future career.
Lastly, it is highly encouraged that you find a mentor. Find your ideal role model in the workplace and ask politely if they are willing to be your mentor. This could be anyone, whether that is your coworker, your boss or someone you met at a networking event. More often than not, they would be happy to be. How do you think successful people got to where they are? They networked and most of them had a mentor!
As an intern, you want to make a good impression. Who knows, if you like your company you would potentially want to pursue a full-time position, right? Or perhaps you would like to receive a referral from your supervisor. All of these are important of course for your next step into your career.
An internship etiquette to live by is to show what you are made of. Always work hard, show your eagerness to learn and show your enthusiasm and presence. Show up early and leave late if you have to! Do not be afraid to volunteer to step outside of your comfort zone. After all, growth is what we experience if we step outside of the little circle we call the comfort zone.
Your willingness to hustle along with the right attitude will make you a valuable asset to any company
You have to keep developing your skills and pick up new ones along the way is an internship etiquette that is expected of you. At the start, it may seem like you have little responsibility but this will come with time so be patient. Remember, attitude comes a long way because you have to be willing to do it as well if you want more responsibilities. Showcase your willingness to support other team members and take notes, and do tasks even if you don’t like them without complaining!
How you perform your tasks will essentially be closely monitored by your superiors. Do well and impress your seniors and other team members and they will instill their trust in you by giving you more responsibilities. Of course, there will be more expectations and pressure and it is important to know how you deal with pressure.
Remember: You are allowed to make mistakes! You are human after all and you learn from mistakes. Everyone was once a newbie too!
The key takeaway is to always believe in yourself, do your utmost best and put your best foot forward. Be open-minded, learn and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Immerse yourself in the company and its culture, and keep learning and growing. In no time you will become an integral part of the workplace!
Be punctual, this internship etiquette is right up there as there is nothing worse than coming late on your first day. If you are not a morning person, make a habit of waking up earlier than usual. If you need three alarms to wake you up, double the amount. Waking up earlier will allow you more time and flexibility. It is not a bad idea to make yourself familiar with the route before your first day either!
Remember: keep an eye on the clock!
The key to building a strong workplace is by being friendly and approachable. It is not exactly rocket science but you will need support to do well in your career. Make an effort to greet everyone or at least acknowledge them. Try to learn names and faces and of course, be respectful and polite.
A great internship etiquette is to make an effort to know everyone from the boss to other staff members. Take initiative by making the first move and introducing yourself to everyone. In the end, it is all about finding a healthy balance between being too social and too antisocial. You do not want to be too quiet but you also do not want to come across as a person that loves office gossip.
So there you have it, all the necessary tips and tricks that will help you. Make yourself familiar with these internship etiquettes. We highly recommend you follow these and we can guarantee that you will do well in your internship!