Posted tagged ‘internship behavior’

Q. How do I improve my professional relationship with my boss?

June 14, 2010

A. Congratulations for asking such an important question, which shows that you’re already on the road to internship success. If you feel that your boss doesn’t give you enough time or that your relationship is floundering, please don’t take it personally. Your boss may be overwhelmed with work and under lots of pressure to produce from his/her boss. Here are a few tips to improve your professional relationship with your boss:

  1. Make sure that you perform your assignments quickly and accurately. Then, ask your boss what you can do to help him/her. Working together on a project is a good way to improve your professional relationship.
  2. Demonstrate that you’re a professional by getting to work early, staying late, and working weekends if the boss needs extra help. The best way to establish a professional relationship is to be a professional yourself.
  3. Earn the respect of your boss by dressing professionally, limiting casual conversation in the office, and presenting new ideas on how you can improve your assignments.
  4. Ask your boss if you can attend some meetings with him/her either at the company or at a professional organization. Show your sincere interest in the relevant field and your enthusiasm at learning more, ensuring that your boss will react in a positive manner.
  5. Thank your boss for all the help that you receive at your internship and compliment him/her on being such a great role model for you. By the time your internship is over, your boss will consider you a professional partner.

Q. I’m attracted to one of the employees at my internship. What’s your opinion of office romances?

June 11, 2010

A. Office romances at your internship are a no-no—unless you want to endanger that employee’s career future, and you’re not concerned about your own future with this company. Many companies restrict office romances because they feel such a relationship distracts a productive employee from concentrating on his/her job. Here’s how to avoid such negative scenarios:

  1. Remain neutral. Don’t show any romantic inclinations in the office or play favorites with your co-workers.
  2. Refrain from sending notes to the object of your affection or from calling him/her on your cell phone during office hours. Your co-workers will catch on even if you think you’re being discreet.
  3. Avoid secret meetings outside the office. Someone will inevitably see you and report back to the office, and the gossip will start. Also, you’ll get a reputation for being sly or underhanded, which won’t help your internship be a success.
  4. Be patient. Wait until after you’ve completed your internship to develop a relationship with one of your former co-workers. Keep in mind that if you intend to turn your internship into a permanent job, you might have to find a romantic interest elsewhere or choose a different company.

Q. What are the rules for interns around social networking time, personal email, and texting/personal calls?

May 10, 2010

A. There aren’t any hard and fast rules per se. The proper behavior depends on the style and culture of the company in which you intern. Most companies don’t publish an official list of rules, but you can quickly learn the “unspoken” rules by careful observation. Here are a few basic guidelines to help you when you start your internship: 

  1. If in doubt—don’t. Until you’re sure what’s acceptable, err on the side of being conservative. Start by turning off your cell phone and putting it away when you enter the office.
  2. Tempted to use your iPad to browse the Internet while you’re waiting for a meeting to start? It would be much better to engage a co-worker in a conversation and find out more about the company or your assignments. Like to check an app on your iPhone to find out the weather? Better wait until you have a break.
  3. Socializing with other employees usually takes place before work, during lunch or break-time, and after work. When a company has a social function, make sure that you go and capitalize on that time set aside for social networking.
  4. You probably have MySpace and Facebook accounts to keep connected with friends. It’s better to keep these personal accounts separate from your work life. Make sure the accounts are private, so if an office mate Googles your name, they won’t find out more about your personal life than you would like.
  5. Many interns blog about their internships. (See the Eye of the Intern  blog on A word of caution—be careful what you say or it could cost you your internship. You may have some humorous stories about what happened at work or you may want to vent about a problem in the office, but do that in person with a friend, not on your blog, where someone connected to your company might see it.