Professional Readiness and Leadership Center
Through Engage, you can gain insight on internship preparation through professional development! Here you can find information on specific situations you might face throughout your internship experience. Whether you are interested in presenting your professional self, strengthening your oral and written communication, or navigating the workplace environment, Engage will address each of these and more!
Frequently Asked Questions
- How is my internship different from a part time job?
The primary goal of an internship is to gain knowledge through firsthand experience and to further your professional development. In a well-developed internship, you are exposed to a variety of career-specific work. In a job, however, the goal is different from that of an internship. Internship duties relate to your program of study, and there is a connection between the job duties and what you are learning in the classroom.
- How do I make a good first impression?
Making a good first impression is important, especially during your internship experience! Here are five tips for making a good impression the first time:
- Be punctual and on time.
- Present yourself appropriately and professionally (attire, language, etc.).
- Remain positive.
- Be courteous, attentive, and willing to learn.
- Look for connections in your conversations.
- How do I document my internship experience?
Throughout your internship, you may choose to document your experience by keeping a daily log or journal of your work. Consider writing down the top three tasks that added value to your internship experience each day.
- What do I do if my supervisor asks me to do something illegal/unethical?
Make sure you understand the situation, understand all the facts, and do not overreact. Ask for clarification. If you are still unsure, continue to ask questions and then explain your concern to your supervisor. Always be professional.
If you still believe the request is illegal/unethical, send your boss an email outlining what you were asked to do, explaining your concern that you may have misunderstood, that you want to perform your job properly, and state the concern.
The company may already address how to deal with this situation in their policies – so you should check and follow policy.
If the company does not have a policy, speak with Human Resources. Under no circumstance do anything that is illegal or unethical.
- What if I am being sexually harassed in the workplace?
The company should have a policy in place on how to report any type of harassment. Make sure you follow the policy.
If the company does not have a policy, immediately report the issue to the Human Resource Department.
- Can an internship develop into a full time position?
Yes! Internships can develop into full time positions. It is important to express to your employer that you are interested in remaining with the company. Seek out positions the company is currently hiring for. Throughout your experience, focus on providing quality work, which will show your employer you are an asset to the company.
- How should I dress for my internship?
The dress requirements should be provided to you once the internship offer is extended. The company dress code is often in the company handbook. It is always important to dress to impress, especially on your first day. Most often, companies require business casual attire, and in some cases, a business professional attire. For further information on the difference between business casual and business professional attire, check out a comparison here!
- What can I do if I don’t have professional attire?
If you are in need of professional attire, Student to Career offers free access to the Professional Clothes Closet in JH 425! Professional attire can be borrowed for short periods of time, or in the case of an internship, this clothing can be borrowed for extended periods of time as well. For further information on this awesome resource, schedule an appointment with our S2C staff here!
- How do I write an effective evaluation?
You may be expected to provide an evaluation of your employer/management. When providing an evaluation, you will want to focus on growth in your written communication. Keep the comments professional and rely on observable behavior when providing feedback to your employer/management.
- How will my performance be evaluated?
Though performance evaluations will vary depending on the employer, you can expect to be evaluated on academic knowledge, technical skills, quality of work, communication, professionalism and accountability.