Internships can be the greatest experience of your life and expose you to some amazing experiences in the real world. It’s great to have at least one internship before graduating, and
even better if you’ve had a couple more. Here is a full list of do’s and don’ts, from starting an internship to finishing it.
Do: Apply to a bunch
You have nothing to lose by applying to several internships. It’s good practice to send out a résumé and cover letter anyway.
Don’t: Try to get a paid internship as your first one
Look for experience first before money. That experience will eventually lead you to paid internships, and you’ll thank yourself for taking an unpaid internship.
Do: Ask questions during the interview
Ask what a typical day is like or what the dress code is. You want to seem interested in the job and ask important questions to your future supervisor. No question is a dumb question, either.
Don’t: Expect a virtual internship to be easy
Just because you can work remotely from your laptop doesn’t mean it will be an easy job. Make sure you give 100 percent to this and really plan your day to working on your assignments for the week.
Do: Tell your supervisor if you can’t get to something right away
If you received three different tasks you have to finish before lunch, and a different department asks for your help, it’s okay to tell them that you’re working on a couple other things, but can do it right after lunch. It’s better to communicate with people instead of promising something that you’re not sure will be done.
Don’t: Show up late
Especially in small offices, everyone will be able to tell if you come in late. If you know you’ll be a couple minutes behind, send an email and let them know you’ll be there as soon as possible.
Do: Stay connected once the internship is over
Keep in touch with people from the office once the internship ends, because you can use them as a reference once you start applying for jobs.
Don’t: Leave the internship without a thank you note
Buy a card for your supervisor and leave them a handwritten message on the card thanking them for their time and the wonderful experience you had. Also feel free to throw in a small gift if you’d like.
Casey Tsamis is a senior journalism student at Emerson College in Boston, MA. She is a Division III athlete as well as the Vice President of her sorority, Xi Gamma Nu. Casey spends her free time exploring the latest fashion and beauty trends, and her dream job is to work at Too Faced.