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Characteristics of A Good Intern

You may be surprised at some of the characteristics you find in a foreign workplace. Supervisors may share personal information that you would normally share only with close friends and may allow you to call them by their first name. Socializing at the workplace is common, and your supervisor will often join in. Despite this friendliness, you are always expected to do your work and act appropriately. To succeed in your traineeship, you will be expected to:

Be a Team Player
Society today reflects a historical dependence on group support. You often hear "team sport" vocabulary in the workplace. Businesses are becoming accustomed to working and playing as a team, and it is important that you are able to adjust and fit into this team atmosphere. Help your co-workers, and don't be afraid to ask for their help when you need it. Your host company may even ask you to help with tasks outside of your training program. This is normal!

The ultimate goal in the workplace is completing the job. Members of a workgroup, including your supervisor, will be very flexible about the work each team member does to achieve that goal.

Be on Time
Being "on time" is essential, and showing up earlier than expected makes a good impression on your host company. Early is "on time", "on time" is "late" and "late" is unacceptable. If you are often late, you will be seen as a person who doesn't take their trainee program seriously. During business conversations, time is not usually wasted on developing personal relationships, and these discussions are usually short and to the point. You will have plenty of time to get to know your colleagues during breaks.

Dress Appropriately
Look at how others dress to see what is appropriate clothing. Be aware that the more professional, "white collar" employment requires a more formal style of dress, and you should attempt to match the office look. We will let you know once you have been placed what the appropriate dress code is.

When In Rome
Americans shake hands often, and do not kiss cheeks as often as other nationalities. Shake hands firmly. Try not to be too quiet. Try to accustom yourself to the environment you find yourself in and mimic local customs and traditions in and out of the workplace.

Be Enthusiastic and Flexible
Have a positive attitude towards the job you accept. Host companies are looking for workers who are enthusiastic and willing to learn. Flexibility, enthusiasm, and teamwork are very important in the U.S. workplace. Without these, you risk losing your position as a trainee.