The Dos and Don’ts of Interning

Today’s job market is extremely competitive, so it’s important to have a positive impact on your summer employer. Here is some advice to help you make the best possible impression this summer. Happy Interning!

1. Do: Stay positive. Not every assignment you are given this summer will be exciting. Approach every task as a learning opportunity and as a chance to show you are a team player, even if you spend an entire day making photocopies or filing (I’ve been there).

2. Don’t: Post negative messages to your social network. Everyone has a bad day once in a while, but sharing less-than-pleasant thoughts about your boss or company via your social network is a bad idea. Current and future employers may scan your personal pages and you don’t want to risk your employment status because of one bad day.

3. Do: Develop your presence on LinkedIn. If you are not on LinkedIn already, take some time to build your profile. At the end of the summer, you’ll want to connect with the people you worked with and ask for recommendations so future employers have solid references of your work. has a great article to help you use LinkedIn effectively.

4. Don’t: Send casual emails to your colleagues. You may reach a comfort level with the people you work with, but keeping your communications professional will help them see you in that light. The same idea applies to phone and in-person conversations as well.

5. Do: Send thank you notes. In a Forbes blog post, Michael Matthews says to send a hand-written thank you card to people who have taught you something during your internship and to those who helped you get your foot in the door.

6. Don’t: Ignore the dress code. You want to show that you are professional and hard-working. Stick to the dress code as it was explained to you at the start of your internship, even if you see other people breaking it on occasion.

7. Do: Ask questions when you have them. Your employer would rather you get clarification on something before spending time headed in the wrong direction. says to “seek advice and raise questions whenever you encounter something that is not familiar to you.”

Did you receive helpful advice as an intern? Share what you would add to these tips below.


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