Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Advice for Interns

How can I do well during my internship? 

Form Strong Relationships

Connect with your manager: Build a trusted relationship with your supervisor, especially when you can’t get to know them in-person. Proactively communicate your goals, accomplishments, priorities, and risks or issues. Set reminders to ask for feedback. Find creative ways to get to know them personally. Do you know about their family, activities, career, and affiliations?

Network to find mentors: Every new employee will experience doubts or even the Imposter Syndrome. Sometimes it’s nice to have someone who is not your manager to ask for help. This person can be at the company but on a different team, or outside the organization. Try to identify someone who is passionate about teaching and learning (clue: they might have given many LinkedIn recommendations).

Give thanks & kudos: Remember to show appreciation for people who help you. Send them a quick thank you note. Tell their manager how they went above and beyond for you. Show your appreciation on LinkedIn with a post to your network. Also find opportunities to congratulate others on achievements. If there are opportunities to nominate others for awards, do it.

Develop Productive Habits

Get organized & prioritize: No matter what role you’re in, chances are they want you to multitask. Prioritization is essential if you want to earn the reputation of being someone who meets deadlines and creates valuable results. We recommend using a project management tool such as Trello, especially if you want to take an agile or kanban approach to your work.

Adapt to remote work: Experiment to find your work-style preferences, but then develop habits. Pick a goal for the day and block time in the morning to do it. Fill in gaps in your schedule for easy (endless) tasks like checking email. Communicate frequently, especially in writing, giving succinct, informative updates of your status. We recommend reading Zapier's Guide to Remote Work.

Take a deep breath: Sometimes when you are feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to unplug and reset. Stress makes you not think as well and can be detrimental to teams. Before a high pressure situation, remember to just be kind. You are ready to learn and show what a UMass education can do! You can schedule a CICS Careers Appointment anytime you need help.

Earn a Professional Reputation

Influence without authority: Help brainstorm new ideas by creating a mind map, building on others’ ideas with “Yes And...”. Practice negotiating effectively by preparing, listening to others’ perspective, and trying to find “win-win” solutions. Whenever possible, think we not me and earn a get it done reputation.

Be early and curious: Don't be late, or even on-time (delays are inevitable). Strive to be early to meetings, which often gives you time to chat informally. Keep a log of thoughtful questions so you have them ready to ask at opportune times; ask others about their projects and listen actively. Pursue opportunities to join new initiatives, even if it puts you outside your comfort zone. Embrace your gaps in knowledge and put in the extra effort to learn on your own. 

Say yes: Try not to turn down opportunities, even if it’s not your favorite assignment. Advocate for your interests but go above and beyond to help others whenever possible. Avoid the temptation to opt out of social invites. These informal interactions can often lead to a valuable network that can benefit you personally and professionally.


Return offers often come down to who you know, what value you created, and the strength of your reputation. You can do it and we are here to help!