Although I have completed short job shadowing work experience when I was at school, it was only up until this summer that I did my first formal internship. There are many things my peers and I have learnt, so I thought I would share it here! If you have read my previous blog posts, you might know that I am a law student. However, my advice below is not limited to working in legal, but in any professional settings. Some of this might seem like common sense, but it’s the small details that influence people’s impression of you. My blog focuses on email etiquette, preparing powerpoint presentations and advice on coffee chats, which is unable to cover everything that interns should know. However, feel free to comment below and share what new interns should know before starting their jobs!
Email etiquette is so important, particularly because a lot more people have the option of working from home post pandemic, the only way people get to know you might be through emailing. Below are a few tips that I have gathered:
- Introduce yourself with first and last name if you are emailing for the first time
- Proofread your emails, make sure there are no typos and the tone is appropriate
- Be aware of your tone. You will want to leave a good impression by coming across as positive, polite and enthusiastic
- Make sure you have included the correct attachments
- Check how you name attachments, you will want to make it easy for your seniors to navigate the documents
- Email name list order (they matter!) – Order them by seniority, partner, senior manager, followed by manager, intern, etc.
Preparing PowerPoint presentations based on given templates is a frequent task assigned to interns. Preparing decks is a way to demonstrate your attention to details, below are a few tips I have gathered:
- Big firms usually have their own templates that they stick with, make sure to ask your seniors
- Styles, fonts and font size: while presenting a deck, make sure the fonts will not be too small to read from a distance
- Abbreviation: Make sure to spell out the full name of organisations at the start, then followed by abbreviations
- Make sure there aren’t unecessary capitalisation, and the same font is used across the deck
Your supervisor may invite you to coffee chat at the start to get to know you. Different people may have different approaches. You can ask them about their career paths, any advice they might give, and perhaps what type of work you are interested in. But don’t forget to tell them about your hobbies and interests. You will want to come across as a friendly and easy going person.
I hope the above advice helps. I wish you all the best in your internships and your future career. Comment other tips that might be useful for new interns below!