This blog is written by Jackie, our campus ambassador from the University of New Hampshire.
The most important things to focus on at your internship are a good work ethic and making connections. However, appearance is also important. Presenting yourself in a professional manner is not superficial - it is essential. Dressing professionally makes a good impression, while dressing unprofessionally implies a poor work ethic.
When you are shopping for work clothes for the first time it can be extremely difficult. The first few weeks you should spend time observing what those around you wear before you put a lot of money into buying new things. Fashion brand websites are helpful too in that they show you examples of professional clothes and sometimes even show complete ensembles and how to put outfits together. Use these examples as a stepping-stone of what you have in your closet already and what you can add to it to make new outfits.
You have to know the rules before you can break them, so it is always better to overdress. Once you understand your work place attire, it will be easier to occasionally stretch the rules. Relaxing the dress code may be acceptable in some offices but wait and see if this is the case in yours.
It is less expensive to shop at lower priced stores like Forever 21. However, if you choose to buy there, I suggest buying in store as opposed to ordering online, as you can often not tell quality by looking on the Internet. You do not want to show up to work in a see-through top! Make sure you are equipped with the right undergarments as well.
To be professional, focus on simplicity when it comes to makeup and scent. Put down your perfume and Bath and Body works lotion, instead chose one or the other. You do not want to blow anyone away with strong smells that distract people from your good work ethic. The same is true for makeup, save the dark lipstick and heavy eyeliner for outside of work.
Follow my advice and you will be looking professional, tasteful, and impressive!