Communicating Professionally

Competitive UO Senior Planner

10 not thought of tips for interns June 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 8:33 pm
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Most interns have read a list of what to do and not do at a company. This is a list, compiled by personal experience, of things I was never told (or didn’t listen to) of tips I wish I knew coming to my internship.

1.    Wake up extra early

Starting my internship right after school ended was a difficult task for me. It did not matter how excited I was, 8:30 was early compared to my 10:00 classes.  As terrible as it sounds waking up early is the best way to solve the problem of exhaustion. I wake up 15 minutes before I need to. I do some jumping jacks, push-ups, and sit-ups. I am not an exercise addict; I need to be alert and focused. Getting the blood flowing and allowing for extra time not to rush in the morning is vital to a successful and awake day.  This brings me to my next tip…

 2.   Caffeine is your best friend

It’s true. No matter how much you love or hate your internship, you will at times appear bored because of a lack of sleep. That is not ok. Caffeinate as much as possible to be as focused as possible. Coffee is great but, precautions need to be taken with it …

 3.   Mints, not gum

Good breath is a necessity, but chewing on gum makes you look like an annoying school girl. Opt for the mints instead.

4.   Notes, notes and notes

Taking notes will never hurt you. It will make whomever you are speaking to feel important and studies have shown note-taking improves memorization.

5.   Manners are always appreciated

This one is huge. Interning in an office you will most likely be working with an older generation. Please and thank you is a way of life for them, as well they should be for us. Everyone appreciates a polite intern, make sure you are. Along with this, thank you e-mails should become second language. Manners, they need to be exercised daily.

6.   When nothing to do, read up on the company

At times, an intern is not always needed. Shocker, I know. When your supervisor is hard at work on a project the best thing to do is find out more about the company. The mission and the vision statement should almost be memorized as well as the objectives for the coming year. During a casual lunch date I have impressed my supervisor with my knowledge on how the company is organized and who works where. You can’t be too prepared in an internship.

7.   Receive the most you can out of every task

As an intern, you are not the most influential person to the company. Whatever task you are given, do your best at it. While accomplishing it, think to yourself “how cans this work best for me”. Realize that every opportunity given in an internship is a window to excelling in your future.

8.   Edit, edit and edit

In a fast paced, technological world, the written word’s importance is still prevalent. With employees in a company working in other states or from home, all they may know of you are your reports, messages and a phone call. An email can be all your co-worker knows of you, make sure it is properly edited  to show the best representation of yourself you possibly can.

9.   Use their terminology

The truth is, as an intern, you’re the rookie. What you do not want is for everybody to know. One way to not be seen so new and naïve is to adapt to the company’s terminology. For instance, instead of saying “I have got the time” in my internship, everyone says “If you have the bandwidth.” Try to work the office lingo into your own vocabulary. It will appear that you have adapted to the culture easily and they may forget you are the temporary intern.

 10.   Don’t become intoxicated in front of your boss

This may sound like a no-brainer. It is not. With “meetings” during happy hour and the company picking up the tab, it may be difficult to say “no” to another martini. Resist. I can’t imagine a situation where the intern being a stumbling, drunken mess is an acceptable scenario. Maintain professionalism, even in a social setting.

 I am sure by the end of my internship I will have a million and of these lists. For now, this will have to do.


Social Media “Friends” – Allow or Deny? June 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 6:14 am





It is important to be careful who your friends, connections, and followers are on social media. This is for multiple reasons. One being how a wrong perceived contact can look towards a future employer. Another being how helpful a good “friend” can be.

Future employers, dates, and loved ones do not just look at your tweets or wall posts. Your “friends” are looked at too. If all of your followers are sorority sisters who tweet about going out and getting wasted every night with constant misspellings, how do you think that makes you look? Just like them. Be weary of who you allow to be your social media “friend”. You may care greatly about your online presence, edit every tweet, re-tweet carefully, and have professional photos of yourself, but unfortunately, not everyone does. I personally have had to “un-friend” on Facebook some of my good in my life friends because I disapprove of how they chose to use social media as a weekend evidence site. This does not mean I dislike them or even look down on their lifestyle. However, when branding one’s self it does not just matter how we act, but who we surround ourselves with.

To the contrary, having helpful, social media savvy “friends” can prove to be beneficial. I recently received the honor of interning with a corporate office this summer. I became excited immediately. My glee started fleeing as  I read how formal the attire was for the work place. I though “how can I afford to get a whole new wardrobe before I get a paycheck?” After a few tweets, direct messages, and a status update I quickly received multiple solutions from my social media “friends” on what styles are in, where to get them, and helpful hints on how to look professional quickly. I estimated it out that my social media “friends” saved me over $300 on what I expected I needed to spend.

Real life and social media life are not drastically different. We are judged by the company we keep. Surround yourself with others you respect, admire, and would like to imitate in one way or another.
















Evidence of the Weekend on Social Media June 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 8:23 pm

                                                                                 (I, and no one else I know is in this picture.)

Memorial Day Weekend is over, the end of school is approaching at an exceedingly slow and difficult rate. To blow off some steam many of my fellow college students and I went on a “vacation”. For most of the University of Oregon college students it was either a trip to Lake Shasta in California or Sasquatch the music festival. At these two events, such activities took place that ones mother may not want to know about. If so, why does a student feel the need to portray it all over their social media site? Facebook is littered with photos of red cups and keg stands. Twitter has such inappropriate hashtags of things like #ivegottheballstotweetthis. Is this necessary? No. I understand, we are in college. We are suppose to go out, heck, even expected to do crazy things. Does it have to be publicized on the internet? No, it does not. It only makes your friends, your sorority or fraternity, and your school look trashy. I myself am guilty of partaking in some of the photographic evidence activities. However, there is no evidence, so it can not be proven to any future employer. Smarten up college students, we have a future ahead of us. Stay classy my friends.