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How to ace your internship: part 1

So you’ve managed to score that all-important internship – or maybe it’s work experience – that will lead to your dream job. Congratulations! Now you need to make the most of it, or, as Aliza Licht says, Leave Your Mark.

Aliza is a social media superstar, a highly successful global fashion communications executive for DKNY and the voice behind the wildly popular @DKNY PR GIRL. To mark the launch of her new book, Leave Your Mark, Aliza is sharing her top tips for making the most of your internship. Whether you are busy trying to shine in your current work experience placement or thinking about getting one, Aliza’s tips will help you nail it.


By the last day of your internship, your boss should be begging for you to stay. She should be saying things like, ‘What are we going to do without you?’ That is a lasting impression. That is a reference nailed. Here’s how you do it:
1. Dress the part: The more you can dress to fit the office culture, the easier it will be for people there to visualise you as part of the team. When in doubt about your wardrobe, wear black. Be mindful of the cuts: The office is no place for strapless or cleavage. Miniskirts can also be a no‑no. Guys, for you the advice is different. For some reason, men underestimate the importance of a clean, pressed shirt.
2. Investigate your employers beforehand: Google the names of anyone you know who works there. Study them and memorise who they are. There’s no excuse for not knowing who the CEO of a company is. INSIDER TIP: Know the players or you won’t know how to play the game.
3. Be on time: No, better yet, get there before everyone else does. If your boss shows up and you’re already in the office, that’s bonus points and if you ask your supervisor the night before what project you could start in the morning, you’ll achieve rock star status in no time.
4. Remember, you’re not one of them: You don’t actually have a job, you have an internship. Your boss doesn’t want to hear unsolicited information about your boyfriend problems or what you ate for dinner last night, and she certainly doesn’t want to hear that you’re so tired because you were out partying until three a.m. On the flip side, don’t ask personal questions. INSIDER TIP: Filter what you say to your boss.
5. Learn to self-​start: Not every manager is good at delegating and giving direction, so taking the initiative to make your own work goes a long way. Nothing is worse than seeing an intern sitting around because he has nothing to do. If you can’t figure out what you should or could be doing, then by all means, ask.
6. Take a hint: When you start working in an office, you need to pay close attention to the culture and the atmosphere. Is it loud? Is it serious? Are people eating lunch at their desks? You need to follow the lead of the environment and try to mimic the way your colleagues work.
7. Don’t question everything: Whoever said, ‘There are no stupid questions,’ was wrong. That said, do your boss a favor and try to research the answers to your own questions before you ask them. I would much rather someone say, ‘The Condé Nast building is at One World Trade Center. I just wanted to check that’s where you want the package sent,’ as opposed to, ‘Where is the Condé Nast building?’


Join us tomorrow for more tips on how to make the best impression during your internship. 


Aliza Licht’s Leave Your Mark is out now and available in print and ebook from all good retailers.