Tips for a Good Internship

Have flawless credentials

  • Meticulously proofread your resume to make sure that there are absolutely no errors. Employers have little tolerance for grammatical, mechanical and other writing errors.
  • This also applies to your portfolio. Be certain that there are no errors before submitting your portfolio for review by the program coordinator.
  • Consider the position for which you are applying and tailor your resume to fit that particular job. For example, when applying for an internship facilitated through the minor in professional writing, you will want to include as many writing-related experiences and relevant coursework as possible.
  • Writing samples for your portfolio should showcase your writing skills.

Ensure that your résumé and portfolio represent you well.


Be proactive

  • Complete your intern contract with your employer during the first week and submit your contract to your internship coordinator. You want the contract to be accurate, but, if necessary, revisions can be made later.
  • Plan to complete seven to eight hours each week. To avoid getting overwhelmed during midterm and finals weeks, try to plan ahead. Compare coursework deadlines with internship deadlines to make sure you have ample time for both.
  • Keep a journal each week. This journal will be used to track your hours as well as document your triumphs and challenges. You will be asked to turn in a mid-semester journal and a final evaluative journal in English 4189.

Exhibit a great work ethic from the start.


Respect workplace culture

  • Be punctual with good work habits:
    • Arrive on time each day. If you are going to be late, then call your supervisor.
    • Work all of your allotted hours, and don’t leave early without permission.
    • Follow directions carefully, and ask questions if you don’t clearly understand something. It’s helpful to jot down notes while you are being given instructions so that you don’t ask unnecessary questions later.
  • Each employer has distinct ways of evaluating new interns and their skill levels—come prepared. A workplace may conduct its own interview and portfolio review or even formally test your writing and editing skills.
  • Be enthusiastic about your internship—don’t be afraid to speak up. Employers love hearing about their fresh interns’ bright ideas.
  • Dress appropriately. On your first day, there is usually no such thing as overdressed. Observe your workplace culture. If you are unsure, you can always ask your supervisor.

Strive to obtain great professional experiences for your future endeavors.


(Created by Megan Smith, 2010 graduate of the minor in professional writing)

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