Internship Do’s and Don’ts: Becoming the Perfect Summer intern


Amber Gardner | Contributing Writer

The season known as summer has attracted much publicity and love over the years. From Will Smith’s rap hit  “Summertime” to blockbuster films being released with hopes of popularity and profit, this time of year tends to be a money maker. That is why it comes as no surprise that most college students tend to seek an internship opportunity during this time frame.

With the competitive nature of many of the job fields and industries that students are receiving training for while in school,a chance to gain early exposure and first-hand experience in one’s sector is priceless.

According to Bloomberg’s official website, “Many full-time…students…feel as though…making a good impression and securing a full-time job offer at the end of the summer is always beneficial”

When Mariska Warren, a 3rd year 5 year MBA major from Knoxville, Tennessee was asked about the impact of an internship she responded that, “An internship is your first opportunity to make your life great.”

Due to this hope for more experience and exposure from an internship, more and more oung people  taking advantage of internship positions. However some of those who are taking advantage of internship opportunities may wonder about what they should and should not do when on the job. Thankfully various sources have attempted to offer their expertise by offering advice regarding what is and is not acceptable when interning with a company or an organization.

The most important tip mentioned by Bloomberg Business was to, “Complete the assignment you’re given,” especially when assigned a project or a final presentation. Another piece of advice given by the career directors at Bloomberg is to ask for help if their is confusion with the assignment. Bloomberg Business believes that by deciding not to “talk it out,” students may get off schedule and eventually turn in a disappointing product.

Katrin Baker, the associate director of the MBA Career Management Center of the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School encourages finding a, “sweet spot between asking too much and not asking enough” According to Baker finding this balance is critical to success.

Finally, Susan A. Kline, a director of master’s programs career development at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, recommends that, “you should be the person with whom others want to work,” She states that one should be respectful of other’s time, do what is required, and be dependable.

When asked about working with others in your work environment and meeting requirements Michael Eley, a 2nd year 5 year MBA Major from Raleigh, NC stated that, “Every job has it’s own environment…So in order to be successful you have to do things in a way that that company likes it done.” Now, just like there are certain things that can be done to help employees succeed there are also specific things or practices that can be done that will cause employees to fail.

One habit that was identified as being counterproductive by Frances Cole Jones of Forbes magazine is gossiping in the workplace. This can cause extreme damage to one’s reputation and image in the office. Another discouraged behavior that is referenced by Jones is dressing inappropriately for your work environment. It truly is best for one to observe and follow the culture of their team. Following one’s own instincts if misguided could cause disaster for one’s career.

The final very influential piece of advice given by Jones is for the employee to give off the impression that they are energetically eager to be at the workplace. This can be done by always trying to be there early and always volunteering to give extra assistance. By doing this the employer is more likely to get the feel that the intern is grateful and appreciative for the position.

In the end the success of one’s internship experience is truly up to  Make sure you are entering your working environment with an open mind and positive outlook. If you lay down the right foundation who knows what kind of doors you will open?