At the beginning of the school year I was lucky enough to be asked by Chanelle Scheider to write a guest blog post about starting early on finding summer internships. It was great fun and I loved being part of the There From Here community.
As graduation approaches, internships are weighing heavily on many new grads. I have been approached by several students interested in an internship at Z Group PR, mostly because I sit on the Technical Advisory Committee for the marketing program at College of Western Idaho.
The interns that I have worked with are great and these stories are not about them. They don’t need my advice and will do well as they make their way in the world. There we’re, however, a few that did not make the cut this year and although I have changed the details to protect the stinky, I do hope that a couple are reading this (in private, of course.)
Jules Rules for being a productive intern:
1. Google yourself.
2. Trim your nails.
3. Google your supervisor.
4. Don’t comment on your supervisor’s nails.
5. Be specific.
The first rule seems obvious when speaking about anyone born after 1980, but apparently, it’s not. One potential intern sent a beautifully written cover letter along with a professional resume. I quickly popped her name into my Google search bar and the first five entries were from her online dating profile. Now, I lived in L.A., so I wasn’t shocked by what I read, but it was not the most professional image. I do not need to know what she is looking for in a man. There must be a way to keep this information private and if you are looking for an internship, you need to check all of your social media sites and make them as private as humanly possible. Your 6’2″ blonde soul mate who likes cookie dough more than cookies can wait until after you have been hired.
Trim your nails.
Again, seems obvious when speaking about anyone born after 1980, but apparently, it’s not. Appearance counts and more is not better, especially when we are talking boobs, butt-cracks and bra straps. Girls, news flash: they make bra straps that cross in the back so your cute tank top is not marred by unsightly, ragged bra straps. Wear a blouse or go to Victoria’s Secret. No one (except possibly your soul mate that you’re looking for online) needs to see your underwear. Guys: don’t adjust your underwear during the interview. Really, I know I am bossy, but come-on, what have we, if not our manners?
Google your supervisor.
I do not recommend coming across as a know-it-all or stalker at your interview, but having a vague idea of who you are meeting with, where they work, and in what industry they are in is seen as a plus. Having to explain what the difference is between my company and the firm down the street is irritating.
Don’t comment on your supervisor’s nails.
We are not friends. I totally, like, love, that you like, love, my manicure, but since we are, like, in an interview, I totally, like, don’t care, like, if we love the same nail color, because, like, I am, like, never, ever, infinity, going to, like, get a manicure with you. Bummer, I know!
Tell everyone who asks when you are available, how you are available, and what you expect. Some internships are paid, many are not. If you want a paid internship, you might want to consider including that in your cover letter or follow-up correspondence. It might save you a bit of time. If you want a work-from-home internship or one with flexible hours, that is good to mention up front as well.
And one last thing for you to remember: Sometimes people seem mean – like when they write snarky blog posts – but they are not; they just want to help you and are using humor to hide the pain of being subjected to unprepared, unprofessional, unkempt interns.
Go forth and prosper!