What to Wear at Your Internship

I  was at the post office today. An intern, a young woman, no more than twenty, was at the desk assisting a full-time postal worker. You may ask how I knew the young woman was an intern. I knew because she had a plastic name tag that said ‘Intern’ pinned to her sweater. I noticed it. Everyone waiting on the endless post office line noticed it. In fact, we were all talking about her name tag.

It wasn’t the generic moniker, “Intern,” that caught our eye. It was the placement of the name tag. Apparently, the Postmaster General or Deputy Postmaster or the Assistant to the Postmaster General or whoever runs the post office, made the intern clip her blouse shut with the name tag.

Clearly, an uncomfortable moment had transpired, and I imagined the intern was mortified that her clothing choice was rejected and then awkwardly modified. The tag was practically choking the poor girl. I’m guessing this fashion fix was hurriedly accomplished as the “I” was pointed down and the final “n” was titled up toward her shoulder. The man next to me shifted his head to get a better read and then blushed when he realized the purpose of the tag’s placement.

What can I say about dressing for your internship? Here goes. If you feel good about your outfit, change immediately. What you think looks good, probably looks too good. You’re there to represent the company and its products or services. Check out how your co-workers dress, and then dial it back about ten notches.

My Five Favorite Words


If you really want your professor to like you, try these five words.


“What else do you teach?


Like a fine bottle of wine, this question needs time to age. If you throw it in too early, it won’t ring true. I recommend saving it up until the end of the semester. Why? Because it implies a tangible action that benefits the professor. Registration is open and you’re about to pick classes. Teachers’ need to fill their classes, especially electives. Your question is exactly what they want to hear.


Consider this –compliments are perishable. They’re gone the minute you walk out of the classroom. Asking a teacher what else they teach is a compliment with a complimentary commitment. It’s like down payment and timed correctly, it will leave your professor with a positive feeling about you.


And that can’t hurt during final exams. So mark your calendar now.

How To Get A Teacher To Like You


A student stopped by to catch up last week. He told me his name and shook my hand. I looked at his face, and then I drew a complete blank. He seemed nice enough, but I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember him. And yet, there he was, talking about my course with a comfortable familiarity.


Had I completely lost it? Was it possible I had overlooked this student all semester?


I carefully looked down at my lap and was relieved to find I wasn’t wearing pajamas or yesterday’s clothes or anything that might explain why my memory had utterly failed. I went along with the conversation for a few seconds, nodding politely, and then I came clean.


“Do I know you?” I asked.


         “I’m taking your class,” he replied. “Next semester.”


         “Next semester? You mean in September?”




         “And you stopped by to meet me three months before the class starts?”




All right kid, you win. That’s right. You’re my new official favorite student of the Fall 2015 school year. I still don’t remember your name, but I’ve got all summer to check my fall rosters and figure it out.


Note to all other students – anyone that takes the time to voluntarily meet their professor months in advance is winning some serious brownie points. Now you may think that this move, executed beautifully by the student, was designed to influence me.


It was. And it worked.