Landing an internship is a huge success, and after all of the interviewing, emails and phone calls it’s finally time to enter the workforce by starting your new internship. As eager and excited as interns may be to start their internships, their lack of knowledge of how to work in a professional environment may get the best of them. Avoid making these five intern mistakes in order to have a successful and professional internship experience.
Dressing like you’re going to class
When your employer tells you to dress business casual, you need to include the “business” part of the phrase into your outfit. A lot of interns unfamiliar with the dress code in an office may dress too casual in jeans and t-shirt, or for some women it may be a skirt that’s too short. You want to exude professionalism and blend in with everyone else in the workplace. Ask your employer on what you can wear specifically before your first day to avoid any fashion faux pas in the workplace.
Acting bored at the job isn’t going to get you the respect and recognition you deserve at your internship. Being an intern may mean you have to do some pretty boring stuff like making photocopies or organizing files alphabetically. These tasks are given to you because you don’t have any credible work experience to start on a real work project. However, if you work hard and do your boring tasks with a smile your boss will likely take notice and consider you ready to take on real work. Acting bored at your job will only discourage your boss from offering you other, more meaningful work.
Not Taking Notes
Not taking notes is a huge mistake interns make that can hurt them in the long run. Taking notes at every meeting you go exudes professionalism and is central to your growth. Showing up to every meeting with a pen and notepad shows that you’re ready to listen to what is being said and jotting down anything important to help you. It can also help raise any questions you may have, so you can jot those answers down. The more you take notes, the more you learn about your internship- and the better prepared you’ll be for work in the future.
Not Being a Team Player
Not being an active team member in your organization will make your presence in the company as an intern go unnoticed. You may feel like your ideas and questions don’t matter in your organization, but the truth is that they do. They hired you for a reason and expect you to have input in what gets down with your department. Interns are always praised for bringing new strategies and ideas to the table because of their fresh enthusiasm, so don’t fall by the wayside. Take the initiative to speak out and make yourself known.
Lack of Networking
Having no follow up after your internship will hurt your chances of a landing a career. As US Money suggests, take advantage of the network of coworkers you made and look for employment opportunities. Keep in touch with your boss as well. You never know when they may have a job opening.
Avoiding these intern mistakes is key to turning your internship into a job. On the other hand, making these mistakes may result in you losing your internship fast.
What do you do as an intern to ensure you are being professional and a hard worker? Share with us in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Generationbass.com
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