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  • Brittany Horowitz 2:04 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , dress code, ,   

    Common Mistakes Made by Interns 

    After having a handful of internships throughout my college career, I have gained a lot of knowledge on what is appropriate behavior and what should be avoided in the professional world. I sometimes forget that there are students who have never interned before, or who have never worked in an office environment before, so they are unaware of the damaging mistakes they are making from day one. Here are some of my tips for great office etiquette:

    Dress appropriately: What exactly does “appropriately” even mean? It means, if you look in the mirror in the morning and ask yourself, “Hmm, is this okay for work?” then don’t wear it. Don’t wear it if it’s too short/too casual/too wrinkled/too old/too tight – the list goes on. No one says that you need to go out and buy an entire new wardrobe in order to look appropriate for your job. Not everyone can afford that. As long as you look like you put effort into your appearance and didn’t just roll out of bed, then I think you’re in the clear. Take note of what others wear in your office, and then dress similarly. If it’s business casual, then go for it. Just make sure you never look out of place.

    Put the cell phone down (and on silent): You weren’t hired to text all day. If that were the case, then every college student would be qualified for your position. Prove to your bosses that you care about your role in the office, and leave your text messages for your lunch break or after you leave the office. You don’t want to become known as, “That intern who was always on their phone.” It’s unprofessional to focus on your private life when you are supposed to be focusing on your work. If there is an actual personal emergency that you need to take care of, then step outside and take your phone call. Lastly, put your phone on silent. No one wants to hear your ringer go off throughout the day. Vibrate counts too. Sometimes, that is even louder and annoying.

    Don’t be late: I cringe at the thought of someone walking into the office late. It’s even worse when they are casual about it and don’t realize how unprofessional their behavior really is. Being on time is not that difficult. It’s all about time management. It is one thing if you’re accidently late because of uncontrollable circumstances, such as delays on the Metro or a personal emergency; however, Starbucks being really crowded during your morning coffee run or snoozing your alarm seven times do not count as valid excuses. If you make a habit out of being late, then your boss will make a habit out of leaving you out of important office projects. It’s only fair. Being late shows that you do not care about being professional, and why should such behavior be rewarded? It’s the little things that really reflect your attitude towards your job. Don’t mess this one up.

    B.

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  • jv9968a 3:50 pm on October 25, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , dress code, , ,   

    What To Wear When They Don’t Care 

    I started my internship at Riot Act Comedy Theater in late August, and on my first day there, I dressed up. No one had mentioned any dress code, but seeing as this was a professional establishment, I assumed business attire was appropriate

    When I arrived, my boss greeted me in shorts and sandals. As it turns out, during the day, the Comedy Club is fairly casual. They want to be approachable, cool. Riot Act opened in mid-August, they were the new kids on the block. Of course my boss would suit up for meetings and every night for the shows/events, but during the day he was able to take it easy.

    I casually asked what was appropriate for an intern to wear, he replied “Whatever I want.” Suddenly the freedom of my clothing became overwhelming. Do I dress down? Do I wear flip flops? What do my clothes say about my respect for my internship?

    I decided to take this freedom and use it to my advantage. I decided to always dress to impress, but since I did have this ‘wear whatever I want’ allowance, I was going to be creative. I wanted to show Riot Act I took my position seriously, while also expressing my creativity. Since I was held down by the term ‘business casual’ I started arriving at my internship in a bright red dresses, or patterned tights, chunky jewelry, or yellow high heels. To me, my outfits say I’m composed but expressive; I know how to do a lot with a little; and I have confidence in myself.

    Obviously, not all internships are this flexible, but the point is – know how the clothing you wear to an internship reflects upon you. If there is a serious dress code, follow it; if there is some flexibility, use that to express your individuality. It can give you an edge and it can make it memorable. It doesn’t take a lot, accessories are small and can make a huge statement.

    Dress to Impress. It’s fun, it’s free, and you will look fantastic.

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    • Francine Blume 6:39 pm on October 27, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is great! You should post a photo of you all dressed up at your internship site! The kind of contrasts nicely with the other blog post encouraging folks to wear whatever they want to the interview so that they can be themselves. I don’t really endorse dressing creatively at interviews because that usually makes people not take you seriously. But how great that you found an internship where you can dress creatively!

  • Eliza Brashares 4:06 am on June 9, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: dress code, Environment America,   

    First few days 

    Hello there!

    I will be working this summer, full to part-time, for Environment America, a citizen based environment advocacy organization that fights for clean water, clean air and open spaces. My internship application process for Environment America started a long time ago. I met Jenn Kaufer, the former intern coordinator, at the Fall 2010 AU Career Fair. We got to talking about the Spring 2011 internships. However, I was studying abroad in Copenhagen the previous semester, so we continued talking throughout the semester and here I am. My work, as the Field intern, is basically to coordinate and promote the campaigns of the 29 state-based Environment America groups. I would do this through generating media attention, as well as coalition building.

    (More …)

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