How I Adapted To Corporate Culture

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional

How I Adapted To Corporate Culture

This guest post comes from our Intern Queen Campus Ambassador ,Kyan, from California Lutheran University.

As January 14, 2011 approached, I realized the next internship position I will be holding will have a significantly different atmosphere and corporate culture.  On my last day as an intern at my previous internship, my boss asked me where my next internship will be and when I told him, his immediate response was “That’s going to be a totally different environment”.  At my previous internship, the environment was very laid back and relaxed.  We were allowed to listen to music whenever we wanted, and I was even allowed two hour lunch breaks on some Fridays! As for attire, there were some very simple rules.  For men, no cut sleeves, no flip-flops, and no shorts, other than that, all else goes!  It was nice being able to go to work in the same clothes I wore at school.  That being said, when it was time to work, I still got my work done, and put my best effort forth.    Although I have not started my next internship yet, I am familiar with the culture and the kind of demeanor I will need to have when I begin.  There is definitely a more “buttoned-up” feeling in the office, and dress code is business formal.  Even though atmosphere is different, I am still excited to begin my new internship!   Though the thought of entering a more “buttoned up” internship may seem a little daunting, especially after getting used to such a lax workplace, I have some tips for you interns looking to transition.

First of all, you can tell a lot about your next intern position and the corporate culture based on the interviewer.  So pay attention to the interviewer’s word choice, posture, and demeanor, and replicate it.  Furthermore, after getting the position, be observant.  Watch how the others in the office interact, and act in the same manner, try to get along with your peers.  Also, be patient.  Anytime you enter a new situation, you’re going to be a little unsettled.  Give yourself time, and you will notice as you become more comfortable with the corporate culture, you will begin to enjoy your internship even more!  And finally, maybe the most obvious point, don’t be cocky, or overly aggressive, especially when you first get the position.  If you are granted certain privileges, don’t abuse those privileges.  If you are given a one hour lunch break, be back in 45 minutes.  This way, you will gain the trust and respect of your boss, and you will leave a good impression on him or her, and score yourself some hiring points!

Good luck to all you interns out there!