Internship Do's and Don'ts

Monday, July 8, 2013

I haven't really spoken much about this, but I'm currently completing an internship at a local hospital as part of my degree requirements. So far, it's been a really interesting experience and I'm getting to see things that I would never have the chance to see in a classroom. 

There are three other people from my class completing the internship with me which is also really, really interesting. I really enjoy taking a step back and observing people in different situations (read: people watching), which sometimes really gives me an insight on what to do and what not to do. 

The Devil Wears Prada

1. DO: Arrive on time
While I'm lucky in the sense that my internship doesn't have set hours, after a certain point in the day it just doesn't make sense to show up. Everyone typically heads home by 4 PM, so by 3 everyone is super focused on getting their work for the day done. Showing up super late and asking a bunch of questions at that point in the day can distract and annoy the doctors. 

2. DON'T: Dress like a slob or like you're about the walk the runway
Every office has it's own dress code. Make yourself very aware of this dress code and do your very best to adhere to it. On any given day at the hospital people will be dressed in scrubs or business attire. I've seen people show up in yesterday's sweatpants or 5-inch heels. Both extreme and both inappropriate. Take the time to dress yourself neatly and appropriately. Please. 

3. DO: Come prepared
I like to bring a notebook to my internship to jot down information that I receive from the doctors and assistants about themselves and their work. It's important to bring the appropriate materials to your internship that will allow you to complete your work efficiently and properly. I also like to ask questions about research going on in the particular field that I am interning in. Going to your internship with questions will show that you are interested in what your company does and that you are actually learning things. 


4. DON'T: Think you are the professional
I see this all of the time and it annoys me - so I can only imagine how the doctors feel. Be respectful of the fact that it takes many years of hard work to become a professional. It's really good to be interested and involved in the operations of the company you are interning for, but there is a line. Don't under any circumstance criticize the professional's work (even if you think it's terrible), don't go into their offices unless you are asked to and don't try to do any tasks that you weren't given permission to do. 

5. DO: Set goals for learning
At the end of the day, you are there to learn. Before you begin interning, set some goals for yourself. This will give you direction and something to work for during the internship. It's really obvious who shows up just for the sake of showing up and who is there to learn. Your internship is for your benefit. If you don't take advantage of the opportunity to learn, it is disrespectful to your company who could have given your spot to someone else. 

I think internships are great opportunities for learning and growth and are really exciting. I also think it's super important to remember that an internship is an extended interview which means you should always put your best foot forward no matter what!

What tips would you add?

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1 comment

  1. I completely agree with this post... so glad you are having fun and learning a lot! xo


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