The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science


Starting an Internship

On-the-job protocol

General guidelines for success

  1. Carefully read all company orientation materials
  2. Set goals/priorities; be prepared; meet all deadlines
  3. Ask questions when unsure; take notes
  4. Observe or ask about formality of names and job titles
  5. Dress appropriately
  6. Always be tactful and diplomatic; support staff can make or break you
  7. Do more than expected

Be a team player

  1. Do not compete with co-workers
  2. Do routine jobs without complaining
  3. Show initiative
  4. Develop work relationships slowly, after you know office politics
  5. Always inform your supervisor of your whereabouts

The following may be interpreted as irresponsibe and immature

  1. Personal phone calls
  2. Sloppy desk, work space, or work products
  3. Talking about non-business matters
  4. Sitting idle at your desk or work space
  5. Asking for time off; remember IPP assignments are “no-cut classes”

The following may be interpreted as theft

  1. Not re-paying advances
  2. Abusing telephone privileges
  3. Removing office supplies
  4. Copying computer programs
  5. Abusing expense accounts
  6. Using copying machines for personal reasons

Observe supervisor’s priorities about

  1. Neatness of work area
  2. Confidentiality of materials
  3. Coming early or staying late
  4. Lunch hour routine
  5. Telephone etiquette
  6. General office demeanor

Observe supervisor’s management style

  1. Do they prefer written or oral reports
  2. Do they supervise closely or from afar
  3. Do they provide immediate responses to questions and problems
    or do they prefer to think about them before responding

With respect to feedback and reviews

  1. Ask if you receive no feedback after the first month on the job
  2. Accept criticism without being defensive
  3. Do not interpret performance reviews as personal criticism.
  4. Remember, people want you to succeed

Take every advantage to learn

  1. If you have time, read available materials, make time at home to do so
  2. Ask questions, observe people’s behavior, attend social functions
  3. Network whenever possible, collect business cards
  4. Identify career tracks and their prerequisites
  5. Ask for letters of recommendation at the end of your assignment

If you have problems, resolve them by discussing them with your supervisor, the company internship coordinator or personnel officer, or contact the Jonsson School IPP staff for assistance.