Tips for a Successful Internship

Our involvement with Intern America and Hot 107.1 for a 13-week on-air internship competition recently got us thinking about how our nation’s future labor force might ease its way into the real world.

Thousands of college seniors are preparing to graduate this spring and they all know they are entering one of the toughest job markets the United States has ever seen. An internship – paid or unpaid – can be an ideal way to get your foot in the door and learn the tricks of your chosen trade.

We decided to compile some recommendations on how to make a great impression and perhaps land a lucrative job at the end of the internship.


  1. Be mindful of workplace etiquette. This isn’t college anymore and there are boundaries and expectations in the corporate world that a newcomer might not be aware of. Shake hands, be friendly and avoid using unprofessional language.
  2. Establish good relationships with colleagues. It’s very simple if you pull your weight around the office, know your place and maybe join the crew for an after-hours drink.
  3. Ask questions. Most recent college grads are afraid of looking clueless, but here is a revelation: your bosses expect you to be a bit green. Demonstrating an eagerness to learn the correct way of doing your job, not just learn by trial-and-error, can help move you to the top of the list when an opening pops up.
  4. Make sure the work you are turning in is up to snuff. Review it multiple times before handing it in. Communicate with your bosses to keep in line with goals.
  5. Be willing to take on more work without complaint. This should go without saying, but new hires straight out of college might be accustomed to getting their way. It won’t fly in the business domain.
  6. Dress the part. If you’re meeting regularly with clients, know that you are going to have to wear a tie or a jacket every once in a while. It comes with the territory and you eventually get used to it.
  7. If you choose to move on and pursue full-time employment at another company, keep your bridges intact and ask for a recommendation that could come in handy during future job-seeking adventures.
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