This is a guest post that comes from our campus ambassador Carmena Bell. Carmena is a broadcast journalism major at Hampton University.
When I received my first internship, I had no clue what to wear! Was I supposed to come in a business suit and pumps? Was business casual appropriate? Did everyone in the company wear jeans? Fashion is a passion of mine but I wanted to make sure that my attire fit in with the company’s culture. On my first day, I decided to wear black pants with a nice fitted sweater. I kept it simple and classic. As my internship went on, I started to wear different outfits and I would always get compliments on them. Various executives and assistants in other departments would start talking to me about my outfit giving me a great opportunity to meet people that I did not work with directly and of course build my network.
There are several things that can ensure that you look flawless at your internship.
- First of all, Hygiene is everything! No matter what the dress code is at your internship, make sure that you are well groomed and neat each day. Treat each day as if it were your interview. Imagine the horror you would feel if the one day you didn’t look nice was the day you were granted a meeting with the president of the company!
- Cover up and dress appropriately. An internship is not the place to wear your favorite low cut top or to break in those new low riding jeans.
- Clothing is a form of self expression. So no matter what the attire, wear different pieces that represent you. For example, with a blazer, wear a colorful broach. With a cardigan, wear a statement necklace. If you are wearing a blouse, dazzle them with some new earrings.
- If you go into the office for an interview, try to get a feel for the company dress code then. Are people dressed in slacks or jeans? What is the office climate like? Should you bring an extra sweater to get through the day when you start?
- Always be ahead of the curve in terms of dressing for work. It is always better to be a little overdressed than underdressed. A wise woman once said, “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have!”
- Finally, when in doubt, ASK! Email your supervisor or human resources and inquire about what is appropriate attire for the workplace.