This blog post was written by Aviance Washington, our Campus Ambassador from the University of Southern California. She is currently studying Public Relations & Business Administration and aspires to work in fashion PR. Follow her on Twitter @Aviance_KW.
As interns navigating our way through the professional world, it can be difficult to find the perfect balance between being ourselves and being professional. Here are some tips to help you balance how you would normally act with how you should act in the workplace.
Understand your company’s culture
When you first start your internship, observe the behavior of your co-workers and managers. Are they walking around and socializing or does everyone stay at their desks working? Does the environment seem structured or open? It’s always best to take behavior cues from those who have seniority over you. You don’t want to step on any toes!
Don’t be afraid to be yourself
After you become a little more comfortable at your internship, you’ll be able to gauge which aspects of your personality are okay for your workplace. If you feel like your personality is really different from those you work with, you can still find ways to fit in without interrupting office life. If you’re normally an outgoing person but your company seems more timid, organize a lunch to get to know your coworkers on a more personal level (and maybe score some career advice too!). Something about your personality could be exactly what your office needs.
When in doubt, go with the flow
You should always show the utmost respect to your coworkers and to yourself at your internship. If you’re not completely sure that your behavior will be appropriate for your office, just take cues from your superiors. Remember, it’s all about making a strong impression but not one that rubs others the wrong way.