Internship etiquette

Think of an internship as a long job interview - this is how your employer may view your placement.  Remember the following points throughout your internship:

  • Be on time
  • Dress smartly
  • Don't talk or text on your mobile at work
  • Show enthusiasm and be proactive
  • Be courteous and polite at all times

Be seen to be professional

You may know you have an excellent memory for all your pending tasks, and where each document is on the piles of your desk, but your colleagues don't know you know. Even if you produce excellent results, they might just remember you as untidy and disorganised. So:  

  • Keep your desk neat
  • Keep a diary, or list of tasks to do
  • Make notes in meetings
  • If you finish a task, be proactive and ask for another

What if I decide the internship isn't for me?

The aim of an internship is partly to find out whether you could commit to a career in that role, so don't be disheartened if you decide it's right, it's a useful conclusion.  

If you are keen to leave early, think carefully, particularly if you want to work in the industry, just not at the at that firm or in that department. Many industries are surprisingly small and graduate recruiters and employees often move between companies. Protect your reputation and your newly formed network by acting professionally at all times.

If you work to the end of your contract, your line manager will write you a reference, you'll learn transferable skills and be able to demonstrate commitment and responsibility as well as a well reasoned argument for your change of career direction at future interviews. 

If you are desperate to leave, talk to a careers adviser first.  LSE Careers is open throughout the summer, and if you explain your situation, we'll be able to arrange an appointment quickly and by telephone if necessary.  Call us on 0207 955 7135 for more information. 

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