Ten Tips for Interns | Seersucker Sass

Monday, June 30, 2014

Ten Tips for Interns

One of the things I love about work in the summer is that there are always interns.  (Okay, I'm spoiled and sometimes the interns are nice and surprise me with breakfast.)  It's like interns bring a breath of fresh air to the office, and it's always nice to have an extra set of hands around.  Coming from a past intern who has now been employed for a year at the non-profit I interned with, here are my tips for being a star intern!


  1. Coffee.  Know how to make it where you work.  Once our CEO asked me to make a pot of coffee for his meeting, and I had no idea how to use a coffee pot.  I was mortified, but he was seriously so patient and kind, and showed me exactly how to do it so that I would know how to do it next time it was needed. 
  2. Don't be above doing something.  See coffee post above.  When our CEO taught me how to make coffee, it immediately showed me that no one in our building was too good to make the coffee.  Sometimes interning comes with tasks that are less than fun and definitely aren't a learning experience.  Do them, and do them with a smile on your face.  (Unless they are immoral, illegal, or unethical.)  Once a beer brewer visited our office, and the beer that he brought exploded.  I was an events intern, so what had happened was not my problem.  However, I took initiative, found a mop, and cleaned the mess up without being told to.
  3. Don't date your supervisor.  When I took my job last summer, I became the supervisor to a male intern that had been chosen by the man who had the job before me.  The intern constantly asked me on dates, which made me super uncomfortable.  Eventually, I had to tell him that his behavior was inappropriate, and my supervisor even had to have a talk with him.  Workplace relationships create so much tension and awkwardness.  
  4. Follow suit of your co-workers.  The best way to learn the norms of your office place for anything from wardrobe to drinking at a work event, is to watch your co-workers.  You will learn pretty quickly that not everyone is a good example, but observing what my co-workers wore, how they emailed, and how they interacted with others definitely helped me learn the social cues of the office.
  5. Ask questions.  If you don't understand something, ask questions.  In my opinion, it's better to answer a million questions than to have an entire project done incorrectly.  And don't just ask job related questions.  Remember what people at work talk to you about.  If Jenny tells you about a big camping trip that she has planned for the weekend, be sure to ask her about it Monday!  Or ask people about their children.  The majority of the people on this planet like to talk about themselves, and it will make them feel good that you remembered something you all discussed!
  6. Take (good) advice.  I have received some of the best and worst advice of my life while working and interning.  The trick is learning to sift through it!  Ignore negative people, and really get to know people that you relate to.  And look beyond your co-workers for advice!  I have had co-workers offer to set up lunch meetings with attorneys for me because they know that I want to be an attorney.  Take full advantage of opportunities like that!
  7. When in doubt, wear a pencil skirt.   While slightly uncomfortable, they look amazing on.  Invest in a few different colors of them. 
  8. Work like it's your actual job.  When you're at work, work your tail off.  Even if you don't want to work where you're interning, work for that letter of recommendation!  I've heard stories of interns who never had their work completed because they played on Facebook all of the time... that's not beneficial for anyone involved!
  9. Network.  Take advantage of after work events!  Go out for drinks with co-workers when invited, even if you just order a soda!  Take opportunities to get to know others professionally.  It's amazing how many people will offer to give you a recommendation for graduate school or a job.  I've even been offered other jobs through my job.  Be polite and interested, and you will go far!
  10. Have fun!! Seriously, enjoy yourself!  Being an intern was one of the most fun times and biggest learning experiences of my life!

I hope that some of you current or future interns find my tips to be helpful.  If you have any tips that I missed, be sure to leave a comment!  Happy Monday :)




  1. What a great list of advice for interns! And you're right, a pencil skirt always does the trick!

    xoxo, katie

  2. Asking questions and networking are so important, also just being friendly can go a long way.

  3. You would think #3 would be a "well duh".

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  6. Great advices! Wish you a great week! Xoxo

  7. These are great tips! I totally agree about workplace relationships!

    And I found the most amazing pencil skirt at Old Navy. It was only $10 and it's an elastic-y material, so it's not uncomfortable like other pencil skirts, but you can't tell it's not a normal one!

  8. these tips are really helpful, thanks a lot! :)

    Please do follow back :)

  9. Great tips. Any tips on how to find an internship? While I'm studying slightly unconventional fields, I found it hard to even find opportunities in my field. (Also, is it sad that I look forward to having an office job when I'm older, instead of uniformed retail positions?)


  10. Love these tips! Networking is so important! :)

    XO AJ
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