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Make an Impact at Your Internship

Making an impact at your internship or first full-time position comes down to simply understanding and following workplace etiquette. Workplace etiquette is nothing more than the behavior and manners that are acceptable at your work site. The tricky part is that each site is different and the rules are different from the rules that apply to you as a student. People don’t expect you to be a student. Rather, they expect you to act the way they do, as a professional in their line of work. Often times, the rules are seldom spelled out for you, and are not the same for any two organizations. If you don’t figure out the rules, you may have a poor experience and a poor evaluation. So what do you do? Here are a few guidelines and ideas to help you get on track.

  • Dress the part
  • Follow the chain of command
  • Respect confidentiality
  • Respect the support staff
  • Learn basic social skills
  • Attendance and promptness are expected
  • Learn to make a positive first impression
  • Take initiative
  • Turn off your cell phone and don’t open social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
  • Be a good ambassador

*For full details regarding the above steps and more information go to pages 41 and 42 of the UCS Career and Internship Guide

Establishing Your Professional Reputation

Establishing your professional reputation is an important part of making an impact at your internship or first full-time position as well as an important part of your professional growth. The Rutgers Student Code of Conduct outlines standards for students to follow as members of the university community and in upholding the values of the community. These standards can be applied to all professional settings including the workplace. Having a reputation as an ethical professional is vital in making an impact and being a respected employee or intern.

Conducting yourself ethically in all aspects of your professional life includes being ethical in your interactions and engagement with departments on campus including University Career Services as well as with faculty, staff, and your peers. Representing yourself with integrity is also important in your interactions with employers. Additionally, when you connect with employers and others outside you also represent Rutgers. UCS has established policies and ethical guidelines regarding scheduling appointments and registering for events, participating in the On-campus interview program, participating in the Rutgers Internship and Co-op Program (RICP), and job and internship offer acceptance guidelines. These policies are in place to help students understand the importance of ethics in the workplace as well as provide fair and appropriate access to resources for all Rutgers students.