Research and appearance helpful for first internship

Suzi Starheim

Preparing for internships is often a confusing process for those who have not done an internship before, but whether interning at a local medical facility or a national broadcasting station, there are a few simple steps everyone can take to be on top of the game when walking in on the first day. The Gerri Ripp Center for Career Development at Iona College in New York offers a few tips.

Appearance is the first impression a potential future employer will get of an intern walking into the office, so showing up in casual clothing is not appropriate in the majority of internship positions. It is always better to be overdressed and look as if the job is important than to be underdressed on day one, said the Gerri Ripp Center.

Formal speaking and interviewing skills are critical assets to have when beginning an internship. Running over possible questions an employer may ask with someone before the first day of the internship is just one simple way to prepare. Have flashcards prepared, and begin practicing in a conversational manner a few days prior to the internship.

Showing interest in the company is the biggest plus in being a first-time intern, and this only takes a little pre-internship research, according to the Gerri Ripp Center. Knowing the basics about the company will show dedication on the intern’s part as well as an active desire to learn.

According to the Kent State Career Services Center’s Web site, in order to make the most of your internship, you should arrive on time, listen carefully, take initiative and ask a lot of questions. But above all, do not dress too casually or overstep your authority.

While internships vary greatly from company to company, the trick is to always be prepared by looking the best one can, being polite and social and having at least a basic understanding of the company.

Contact features correspondent Suzi Starheim at [email protected].