training interns

Professionalism in the Workplace: Tips for Interns

Many situations come with unwritten rules and expectations that are not always clear to newcomers. To bridge this gap we have compiled a guide of minimum expectations for interns to practice professionalism in the workplace.

Entering a new workplace as an intern can be both exciting and challenging.

As a B Corp committed to inclusivity, we understand that there may be unwritten rules and expectations that are not always clear to newcomers.

To bridge this gap and create a supportive environment, we have compiled a guide of minimum expectations for interns to practice professionalism in the workplace.

Following these guidelines establishes a strong foundation for success and fosters a positive working environment for yourself and your colleagues.

Tips for Interns in the Workplace

1. Be punctual

One of the most important aspects of professionalism is being on time. Even in a virtual setting, arriving promptly to work and meetings shows respect for others’ time and demonstrates your dedication. Plan your schedule accordingly, accounting for potential delays, and strive to be punctual in all your professional commitments.

2. Communicate

Meet your deadlines, and if you can’t, communicate why and suggest an alternative plan. Clear and open communication is key to maintaining strong working relationships.

Additionally, always keep your colleagues and supervisors informed if you have last-minute conflicts or emergencies, and send a quick heads-up when you have a minute or two to spare. A short message such as “Hey – I have an emergency, will send an update when I can” is better than no message at all.

3. Practice virtual meetings etiquette

In the age of remote work and virtual meetings, practicing proper etiquette is crucial. When joining a meeting, introduce yourself if necessary, and be mindful of muting yourself when not speaking to minimize background noise. Active participation, attentiveness, and respectful engagement during virtual meetings contribute to a professional and inclusive work environment.

4. Proofread and double-check your work

Before sharing any work, be it emails, reports, or presentations, take the time to proofread and double-check for errors. Presenting accurate and well-crafted work shows you take yourself, and the business, seriously. It also demonstrates respect for others’ time.

5. CC the right people

When sending emails, pay careful attention to the recipients. Be cautious to “reply” versus “reply all” to avoid unnecessary email clutter. Ensure that the relevant individuals are included in the conversation.

6. Be an active listener

Actively listen and take note of advice and guidance provided by your colleagues and supervisors. By demonstrating attentiveness and incorporating feedback into your work, you show that you value their expertise and are committed to personal and professional growth.

7. Notify hosts when unable to attend a meeting

If circumstances prevent you from attending a scheduled meeting, promptly notify the meeting host. This simple act of courtesy ensures they can adjust the agenda or make alternate arrangements if necessary. Respect for others’ time is a key characteristic of professionalism.

8. Bring solutions, not just problems

While it is important to seek guidance when faced with challenges, strive to bring potential solutions along with the problems you encounter. By presenting your manager or colleagues with alternative ideas or approaches, you demonstrate your proactive mindset and problem-solving abilities.

9. Ask questions… but also leverage available resources

Never hesitate to ask questions when you need clarification or guidance. Embrace a growth mindset and recognize that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Additionally, utilize available resources such as search engines and online tutorials to enhance your skills and knowledge. Be resourceful and take ownership of your learning and development.

10. Respect your colleagues

Respecting your colleagues is fundamental to fostering a positive work environment. Strive to maintain a collegiate atmosphere where professionalism and camaraderie coexist. One way to do this is to be intentional about learning names and roles. Other examples include being mindful of boundaries, avoiding oversharing personal information, and treating others with kindness and respect.

11. Respect the time of others

Recognize that your colleagues’ time is valuable. Approach every interaction with the mindset that their time is precious. Be concise and considerate when requesting assistance or engaging in discussions. Efficient communication helps to maintain productivity and cultivates a culture of professionalism.

12. Manage up

Keeping your manager informed of your progress, projects, and achievements is essential for effective collaboration. Regularly share updates, seek feedback, and communicate wins. Proactively managing your relationship with your manager strengthens trust and demonstrates your commitment to your role.

Keep These Tips In Mind To Set Yourself Up for Success

By adhering to these minimum expectations for professionalism in the workplace, you will establish yourself as a dedicated and valuable team member.

Embrace inclusivity, communicate effectively, meet deadlines, and demonstrate respect for your colleagues. If you’re ever in doubt about what to do, use our core values as a starting point.

Remember that professionalism is an ongoing journey, and by embodying these principles, you will thrive in your internship and set yourself up for future success.

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About the Author

Caroline Appert

Caroline Appert is the Director of Marketing at The Good. She has proven success in crafting marketing strategies and executing revenue-boosting campaigns for companies in a diverse set of industries.