Interns are well into their summer position by now. While most have made progress in treading the waters and learning the ropes through coworkers, some may need friendly reminders of the “Do’s and Don’ts” of a Summer Internship.

  • Come Early and Stay Late - This is a simple way to differentiate your performance from other interns, current and past. By coming in early, you can meet those who wanted to get a head start on their work. Staying late, you can meet those who want to finish their work up and find closure. Regardless of what your coworker is doing, it is always great to have a second set of eyes. Always end your day asking if there is anything else you can do.
  • Be Thrilled To Take Orders -Every now and then pride may breach your judgment. Do not let this happen, instead be thrilled to take orders even for the most mundane tasks. Enthusiasm is always recognized and goes a long way. If you work at a small business, chances are if you are not doing trivial tasks, the people higher up will have to complete these tasks.
  • Don’t Burn Bridges -Even if you have no intention of returning to the job or entering the field, references are weighed in gold. Therefore it is important to maintain the integrity of your day to day work operations. You never know “who knows who,” as such it is important to maintain your reputation. Most jobs are found by people who know someone so keep that in mind when speaking with co-workers.
  • Don’t Become Ambivalent-Part of the internship experience is to gauge what working in a professional world is like. Unfortunately to those in college, work may seem boring. Work can be boring sometimes but that is no excuse for lethargy. Part of being a good worker is getting the boring administrative tasks so that you can do fulfilling work in your field.
  • Remember people are grateful to have you -Granted this will not be expressed on a daily basis but the people you work with are grateful for interns. On a practical level interns can take care of administrative tasks that the core staff is too preoccupied to see as a priority. On a social level, new blood in the office is always a good thing and summer interns provide a breath of fresh air.

            So in conclusion, really appreciate the opportunities given to you in a summer internship, and make the most of it. Regardless of the outcome, if you bring a positive can do attitude with diligent workmanship, people will appreciate and remember you down the road.

I would like to thank Patrick Coughlin for his help on preparing this article with me. Patrick recently graduated from Temple University and is a marketing analyst at Consultants 2 Go. Don’t forget, you can email me at with any questions you might have and I’ll be glad to answer them. You can also follow me and my business on Twitter @peggymchale and @consultants2go.