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29 September 2015 |

Be open and approachable. Try to meet as many people as you can. This could mean asking to sit in another division for a few hours or simply going for coffees with members of your team.

Be professional and reliable. It should go without saying, but be punctual (especially following a social event that ended late). Do not be too informal with your team as this could be mistaken for arrogance. Check what the dress code is before you arrive and remain smart and presentable (even if some of the employees take a more casual approach). This does not necessarily mean you must ignore casual Fridays for instance, but do not show up in shorts and flip-flops simply because you have seen a Partner or Director do so.

Remember you are making an impression on the entire firm. Treat everyone with courtesy and respect, whether they are your supervisor, the receptionists, the most senior employees at the firm, the secretaries or the cleaners. You are being assessed at all times and you never know who graduate recruitment will approach for an opinion on you throughout/after the internship.

I have heard stories of interns talking negatively about other interns, not realising that one of the group to which they were speaking happened to be a good friend of that intern from university. Any animosity caused in such a manner can typically be perceived by graduate recruiters, which in my personal experience has not done any favours for those speaking negatively of others. Your fellow interns may well be your future colleagues so treat them well in order to ensure that a positive working relationship ensues in the future.

I have heard candidates at times talk negatively about other firms to graduate recruitment representatives, presumably intending to demonstrate that the current firm is their preference. This could be a huge mistake. Firstly, bad mouthing other firms could convey a degree of arrogance and suggest that you lack professionalism. Secondly, graduate recruiters tend to move between firms fairly regularly and may well end up at the firm that you were badmouthing before that firm has made their final decision about whether to offer you a job. Two of the graduate recruiters running the final internship that I undertook had worked at other firms at the same time that I had attended open days and internships at those other firms. One had even looked after me on my interview day at a different firm only 5 months earlier! Moral of the story? Be careful what you say to your colleagues and to graduate recruiters. Remain professional and do not talk negatively about other people and firms - it does not reflect well on you!