Tag Archives: intern

8 Do’s and Don’ts for Interns

5th June 2013

All work and lots of fun. Entern class of 2012 hosting the weekly beer cart.

All work and lots of fun. Entern class of 2012 hosting the weekly Engauge beer cart.

This week was an exciting one here at Engauge (and it seems to be a trend). We had 15 bright-eyed and bushy-tailed interns (or enterns) start. FIFTEEN.

This time of year always takes me back to my own intern days (of which were not too terribly long ago) and as this is the first year I’ll have an intern to co-manage myself, it has me thinking much more seriously about do’s, don’ts, plans and projects for her arrival.

All of the planning has lead me to creating many lists, including experiences I loved and other tid-bits I wish someone would have shared with me on day one.

Here are a few of my biggest takeaways:


Do show up on time. In an agency setting some people arrive at 8:00, some people at 10:00 and that’s OK. Don’t get in at 10:00, unless you have explicit direction to do so.

Don’t expect to be busy everyday. There will be downtime. Don’t get frustrated or put it to waste. Find ways to grow independently. Ask colleagues what newsletters they subscribe to or sites they frequent. Save those for your downtime. Spend some time perusing SlideShare, we’re all still learning to master the escape of death by powerpoint.

Do make friends, but branch out from the intern group. It’s important to form relationships with both your peers and your superiors. Make sure to find a balance that works for you.

Don’t turn down happy hour, lunch or coffee. Not only because there is food involved, but also because these settings frequently hold potential for conversations that the office doesn’t always make time for. Learn more about others’ backgrounds and find out what they are passionate about.

Do ask for introductions (when appropriate). You are an intern and one of the biggest perks is that you likely aren’t signed on to an exclusive relationship with your job. Take advantage of that! Ask to meet people from other companies, agencies, etc. When I thought about moving from corporate to agency post-college, a boss of mine did me a fantastic favor to help set up informational interviews with agencies across town. Without that experience, I would have never known where I wanted to end up – or have nearly as many fantastic connections, with whom I still keep in touch today.

Do introduce yourself to someone who’s job you’ll never have. No, I’ll never be a web developer or a user experience architect, but spending time with those people early on in my current role helped to round out my skills and better understand and speak to their disciplines.

Do dress well. Yes, it’s summer and it’s hot. No a mini skirt isn’t appropriate. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.

Don’t be negative. Yes, there will be some long days. Yes, people will drive you crazy. Yes, it may take longer to land the full-time job than expected. Be patient and be positive, each and every person you will work with has been in your shoes. And they survived.

What have I missed? Anything else former interns (or current ones) would add to this list?

6 Ways to Rock Life as an Intern

7th June 2012

This week marked the start of one of my favorite seasons of the year: intern season. We had a great group of Enterns start at Engauge this week and I cannot wait to spend time with each one of them and learn more about their passions, experiences and goals over the next three months.

Interns always bring back so many memories of my intern experiences and it’s crazy to think it has been year(s) since I myself was an intern. First, congratulations. Getting an internship these days is an accomplishment in and of itself. You beat out countless other people for the position you now find yourself in and now it’s time to spend the next few months proving to everyone why you earned that spot.

In honor of the occasion, here are a few tips for anyone getting their foot in the door this summer.

1. Make it count. Work every day like it’s your first. If you think you are being judged, scored, evaluated everyday, it’s probably because you are. Prove to your company why they can’t survive without you.

2. Ask questions. Lots of them. You are not supposed to know everything, show that more often that not. The only way you are going to learn is to ask why, ask why not, ask what that crazy acronym stands for, chances are your coworkers will not look down on you for not knowing, but commend you for the courage it takes to speak up.

3. Dress for the job you want. Just because people at your office look like they just left a college classroom too, doesn’t mean you should. While you may not need to wear a suit everyday, no one ever looked down upon a girl in heels or a guy in a nice button down and kahkis. And even though Mark Zuckerburg can get away with a hoodie everyday, doesn’t mean you can.

4. Don’t do as your told. Do better. As an intern, you may be asked to help with not so fun tasks or projects, but most of the time if you weren’t there, we would be doing that work too. Go above and beyond and show your supervisor you are capable of thinking outside the box and event expanding the way they may think. When I first started my first internship I had no idea how to put together a good powerpoint presentation. During my down time I spent time on SlideShare trying to pick up tips from what others had done and applied that to my projects, that downtime went a long way.

5. Keep smiling and stay focused. In every single internship I ever had there were days I hated. There were days I came home and cried. Days when I felt like I wasn’t making a difference. But for every bad day, there were 10 good days that lead me to the place I am today. The relationships I formed became great friends, coworkers, mentors and bosses, who have all made me into the person I am today and I wouldn’t change a thing about the journey.

6. Enjoy it! You’re only an intern for so long. Have fun. Get out and meet people in the office. Go to a networking event. Make friends with the people you work with, don’t be afraid to show them who you are and why you are the best darn intern yet.