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How to Be a Good Intern

  • Prepare ahead of time for your new internship position. Develop a transportation plan and select or obtain appropriate business attire for the site. Also, spend some time thinking about what your goals are for the internship and what you want to get out of the experience. 
  • Develop a work schedule and stick to it. Before starting your internship, review your availability and develop a firm work schedule for your site. Talk to your internship site supervisor about this schedule and, once confirmed, adhere to this schedule. Professional behavior involves being a reliable intern who arrives on time each and every day. If for some reason you are unable to go to your internship on an assigned day, communicate this to your supervisor as far in advance as possible and always make up any work you missed in a timely manner. 
  • Act like a professional. Turn your cell phone off, don't surf the web, don't chew gum, wear appropriate attire, shake hands, and stand up straight and all of those other things your mother taught you! For help with professional etiquette, check the Career Center's selection of books on the topic. 
  • Show initiative. Don't just wait for someone to find you and give you a project. Show interest in the organization and its inner workings. Ask for assignments and do them with a smile. Request opportunities to attend meetings and programs. Ask questions if you don't understand something. Your internship is a fantastic learning opportunity - make the most of it! 
  • Meet with your internship supervisor regularly. Schedule weekly meetings and make sure to be prepared for them! Write down questions ahead of time and be ready to provide updates on any projects you are working on. 
  • Review the goals established as part of the internship learning agreement that you signed. Keep these in mind as you go about your daily projects at your site. 
  • Communicate regularly with your faculty internship advisor. Let her/him know what projects you are working on, what new things you are learning, and how your experience relates to your classroom knowledge of the field. 
  • Get to know your coworkers and fellow interns. Introduce yourself, ask about their roles within the organization, and learn about the duties associated with their positions. 
  • Send a thank you note to your site. It takes time and effort to sponsor an intern. Make sure to express your appreciation!  
  • Remember to read the Internship Handbook and be familiar with the policies related to internships. Click here to access the Internship Handbook
  • Stay in touch with your internship supervisor and your coworkers. They are invaluable resources as references, future employers, and networking contacts. Send periodic updates to them about your academic accomplishments, your career goals and more. You might also want to include a copy of your resume with your check-in emails.