Intern 101: Workplace Etiquette

June 18, 2014

Happy Humpy Day Everyone!  We wanted to take a quick minute to introduce everyone to the newest member of our guest blogger program - Kristyn!  She blogs over at First Impressions!  She's currently living Washington, D.C. but is a southern girl who grew up in good ole’ Tennessee!! She's a UT grad who planned to be a journalist, but ended up joining the very field she planned to cover, politics! Want more info?  Check out her full bio on our Guest Bloggers Page!  We are excited to have her join our team and hope you enjoy her first blog post here on The Monogrammed Life!

Today marks the first post in a three part series, all tailored to the summer (or really any time) intern. In today's society, landing your dream job doesn't just come from receiving a higher education and having a great GPA. To be hired, potential employers want to see applicants with experience. Experience through organizations, leadership roles, volunteer work and yes, internships. It's almost a requirement now to be hired for a full-time job. Don't get me wrong, education and classroom taught programs are extremely important and in most cases a necessity, but there are certain things you just can't learn in a classroom. This is why internships are extremely vital in gaining employment after graduation.

I've had a lot of experience working with interns, assisting in hiring interns, searching through hundreds of applications and of course, being an intern myself. Everyone has different reasons for applying for certain internships, but etiquette within the workplace is comparable throughout most environments. The work you do and the impression you make can be the deciding factor in receiving that recommendation toward your dream job. Anyone can fill up their resume with an internship here and an internship there, but it's what you do during those few summer weeks that can land you the job after graduation.

In the first part of this series, I put together a list of some common etiquette that everyone and anyone should adhere to when applying for or working an internship.

**(Side note: If you haven't seen the movie The Internship, it's a must see. An absolutely hilarious movie, yet offers plenty of great advice for the first time intern!)

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Know the Company You're Applying For
You're not going to enjoy the internship if you don't know what you're getting yourself into. Study up and do your research before applying to something you may not wish to be a part of.

Always Be Eager to Help
Employers love nothing more than someone who is eager to help and does it with a smile on their face. Don't act like a certain task is above doing. It's more than likely the rest of the staff have done this task before, even the one who hired you.

Image Via Cloture Club 
Leave the Romance Outside the Office
An internship may be a great way to make new friends and meet new people, but it's also not the place for an inner office romance. Don't use your lunch break for mini-lunch dates. You may be the "man on campus," but you don't want to be the "man of the office." Keep your work life and personal life, separate.

Don't Over Share on Social Media
Sometimes you unfortunately get stuck working for someone you don't get along with or who isn't the nicest. However, that doesn't mean you should tell the whole social media world about it. 
WHAT YOU PUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA MATTERS... (I can never say that enough people, ha!)

Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions
It's always better to ask, then assume. Getting clarification on something can save you in the end.

Don't Oversell Yourself
It's hard to find an intern these days who doesn't have an already impressive resume. Your fellow interns most likely have an equally impressive resume as yours, so don't place yourself above others. Be humble and you'll be surprised how far you can go.

Leave the Partying for the Weekend
While the few weeks away from home offer plenty of time to have fun, leave the pub crawls and pregames for the weekends. You don't want to be "that" intern who shows up late and not in the best state. If you attend Happy Hours during the week, limit yourself. Happy Hours and Receptions can be a great networking tool, but don't be the fool who embarrasses themselves

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Respect Advice Given 
You may not be a fan of constructive criticism, but however it may come across, the coworker is just trying to help you. Odds are they respect you and want to see you succeed. 

Always Be On Time (no explanation needed)

Dress Appropriately for the Environment
More about this tomorrow, but take your time to dress appropriately for your office environment. 

Always Say Thank You
A thank you note or departing gift to the office manager or intern coordinator, goes MILES in their book. Remember, they're the one writing your letter of recommendation or filling out that post internship review. Make sure your gift and/or card is appropriate for the office environment. 

Written by Kristyn from First Impressions

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