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How to dress for your internship

When you start your internship you are no longer just a student, but also a valued employee of your company. This means you represent your company’s image and you should dress appropriately. How to dress for their internship is a main concern of many interns! If you turn up to work in jeans and trainers this gives the impression that you’re not serious about your internship and that you aren’t there to contribute and learn. If you want to be taken seriously in the workplace and show your co-workers that you’re talented, conscientious and driven, your clothing choices are one of the easiest ways to represent this. By turning up at work looking professional and ready for the day, people will naturally treat you with more respect and you will be valued at the company.

As a general rule for dress code in the workplace you should look smart and professional. For boys this means a suit with a shirt and tie, for girls this means smart trousers or a skirt (not super short!) with a nice blouse. This can vary, however, as all work environments are different. Some may be really relaxed where you can dress more casually, however it’s best to always show up on your first day of work dressed as professionally as you can. You can then judge over time what’s appropriate for your specific workplace by looking at what your co-workers wear. Many interns take advantage of not being a full employee and don’t dress appropriately however if you’re serious about experiencing a professional internship, you should always look your best. You never know – you may end up working for the same company in the future!

Even if you’re company is more relaxed on their dress code, there are certain situations when you should definitely wear a suit! Whenever you have to attend an important meeting make sure you are dressed to impress. Especially if the meeting is not just with your direct team but also with your boss and people higher up in the company. It’s important to make a good impression and show that you consider yourself a valued member of the team. You should also dress smartly whenever clients come into the office (if this happens in your industry!). To prospective partners and clients your presentation is vital for the overall perception of the company. There are many more instances when a suit is appropriate, just use your initiative and if you think that it’s an important occasion, then a smart dress code is probably a good idea!

For most interns this is their first time in a working environment so you may have to invest in a few new clothes! This doesn’t have to be expensive; if you know where to go for smart, fashionable work wear you’ll have no problem. If you’re in the US a few good shops are Banana republic, J. Crew and Ann Tailor. For UK people H&M has a fashionable and affordable work wear section as does Dorothy Perkins and the online retailer ASOS. Most high street shops will have smarter options making your search a lot easier!


Photo 1. The Intern Group

Photos and blog by Abbie Hammond

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!