The Unwritten Rules of Internships

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You just accepted your dream internship offer. You’ve read through your training manual, signed the paper work and picked out your outfit for the first day. You’re all set, right?

Well before starting, there are a few unwritten rules Human Resources doesn’t tell you. College Magazine has the top five tips you need to score a job offer from your dream job:

Write Everything Down

Never step into your boss’s office without a notebook. Even if it’s writing down their coffee order, your boss expects you to remember everything the first time. Whether it’s a Starbucks order or errands you need to run, it can be overwhelming, so if you write it down the first time you won’t need to ask again. Writing tasks down shows you are committed to your job and really impresses your coworkers.

Don’t Always Ask Questions

Your coworkers always encourage you to ask questions, but not stupid ones. Never ask a question you are fully capable of answering yourself. Always go the extra mile and try to solve a problem yourself. Do research, consult your notes- do whatever you have to before asking for help. Doing so will show you are dedicated to being a self-sufficient employee.

Never Go Out For Lunch

Your job description may entitle you to an hour to lunch but don’t take every word in your job description seriously. You’re allowed to eat, but stepping out to lunch every day is most likely not appropriate. Eating at your desk will show your boss you are focused on your tasks for the day. HR may allow you a break but it may come across as lazy to your boss.

Work Overtime

Just because you are scheduled to work 9-5 doesn’t mean you should pack up at 5:00 on the dot. Yes, you may be an unpaid intern, but putting in the extra time to complete an assignment for your team will pay off in the long run. If you are looking to score a recommendation letter or a possible job offer, the long hours will add extra bonus points.

Hand Write Thank You Notes

Thank you notes are the final make it-or-break it point, especially if you want a job offer. Even if you’re not graduating, thank you notes can help you secure letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation leads to more internships, internships lead to job offers… you get the point. Don’t skip out on the hand written part, or else the whole letter loses its personal touch.


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Senior > Communications and Creative Writing > Montclair State University

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