When looking for a job in the oh-so-ominous future, potential employers will not be asking what our GPA is or how well we did on that history midterm. One of the absolute most important experiences to have on your resume is an internship or two. Showing that you’ve had firsthand experience in the field you’re interested in often says much more to the corporate world than having your name on the Dean’s List.
That being said, no one at your internship is going to take you seriously if you’re wearing cut off jeans and a Ramones T-shirt (I know it’s vintage, but come on). In order to land and maintain the internship of your dreams, you’ll need to dress the part. Therefore, I’ve asked a few students who have interned at major companies about their definitions of dressing for success:
1.) The interview
“For interviews I wear a suit and tie, usually black,” said University of Michigan junior Evan Rosenzweig, who interned at a financial services firm.
It’s important to iron that dark suit because a few wrinkles could throw off your entire ensemble. If you know you’ll be looking into spring internships soon and don’t have your suit at school, be sure to have mom or dad mail it to you as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on any opportunities due to a lack of nice clothing.
2.) On the Job
“First decide how formal this position is. Either suit or blazer. If you are not sure, it's better to over dress than under dress,” said Denison University senior Ryan Smith, who interned at an investment advisory firm. “Wear a pinpoint or button-down collared dress shirt, ideally solid color or micro-patterned. Stick to modest business colors such as blue or white.”
“Try a silk tie with modest colors and patterns. Make sure the knot looks professional,” said Smith. “Also, check to make sure your leathers match! Accessorize if you want. A nice watch never hurt anyone. But remember, nothing flashy – you don’t work there yet.”
One of the most important things for you gals to remember is to cover up! Never, ever show skin that is inappropriate. And keep the girls inside your blouse.
1.) The interview
“You never know when you're going to need an interview outfit,” said Michigan State University sophomore Sarah Kanaan, who interned at a hospital. “You should always have a few go-to pieces in your closet for any professional occasion.”
If buying a whole new wardrobe is not in your budget – let’s be honest, it’s not in anyone’s budget – purchase a few key pieces from places like H&M or Asos.com that you can mix and match.
2.) On the job
“I always have a black or neutral-colored high-waisted pencil skirt a nice blouse that isn't too busy,” said Kanaan. “It's also a good idea to have black dress pants to wear on those colder days.”
Another staple item to have in your closet is a fitted blazer. These coats are not just for men anymore! A black blazer or a nice cardigan from places like J. Crew could really dress you up.
3.) Shoes, Shoes Shoes
“Black patent leather heels are also always a classic go-to shoe that make any outfit look professional and put together,” said Kanaan.
If you are interning in a city where walking is a must, invest in a comfortable pair of flats from Steve Madden or Aldo.
Photo: waitscm at flickr.com