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Etiquette & Professionalism

Starting an Internship? Here's How to Make the Most of It

Adapted from a National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) resource written by Chaim Shapiro.

Congratulations—it’s the last day of finals week! I bet you’re looking forward to your summer internship, and you might even be a little nervous. Internships are an incredible opportunity, and you will want to hit the ground running to take full advantage. Here are 6 tips to make the most of your internship/ co-op right from the first day!

1) Understand the Opportunity. Companies have internship programs so that they can test drive the talent. They want to see you and how well you work in a professional setting.  Take your responsibilities seriously from day one.  A successful internship is the best way into many companies full-time!

2) Recognize that They WANT to Hire You. Most interns don’t realize that the company is invested in your success. If you were hired as an … 

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If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Ever wish you could go back in time and do things over again? We may not be able to do that, but we've got two graduating seniors offering advice about what they would do differently in their career searches.

Liz Neudeck, B.S. Environmental Engineering ‘19

  1. I wish I would have known how important connections are! The majority of people get jobs and internships not from applying as faceless resume online, but from knowing someone or reaching out to someone at the company. Even if it feels nerve-wracking or weird, if there's a job you really want, you have to [visit or reach out to] someone at the company until they recognize you.
  2. Internships are just as important for knowing what you don't want as much as knowing what you do want. Cast your net far and wide, and don't be afraid to take your chances with positions not 100% up your … 
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Deciphering Legal Agreements in Job Offers

Adapted from a National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) resource titled “Noncompete, Nonsolicitation, Nondisclosure Agreements: What You Need to Know”. 

You got an offer, congratulations! Now it’s time to figure out what you will be agreeing to by signing. Some of the more common legal items in offers are noncompete, nonsolicitation, and nondisclosure agreements.  

NONCOMPETE AGREEMENTS 

Noncompete agreements limit an individual's ability to perform work in his or her chosen profession for a certain period of time. In this regard, a noncompete restricts former employees from working for competitors or defined groups of competitors in a specific geographic area for a defined time period. Employers require employees to sign noncompete agreements to protect corporate assets, such as trade secrets, proprietary information, and goodwill. 

With regard to temporal and geographic scope, courts look to what is reasonable to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests. In most cases, a two-year … 

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Be in the Know: Employer Policies and Guidelines

Did you know that ECS has a list of policies and guidelines that we expect our employers to follow? The purpose for this is to promote a fair and equitable recruiting experience for our employers AND our students. It’s important for you, as a job seeker, to familiarize yourself with the ECS Recruiting Guidelines/Policies. Understanding the guidelines could possibly help you to negotiate an offer, and knowledge of our policies can help you identify unethical recruiting practices.

Some information worth knowing:

Alcohol Policy: ECS does not condone serving alcohol as part of the recruitment process, and we will not promote such events. As a reminder, we do not recommend that students EVER consume alcohol (even a small glass of wine) when offered, whether during the recruitment process or while on intern/co-op with a company. Read more about dining etiquette concerns HERE.

Co-op and Internship Program Policies: ECS has developed a … 

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Is it OK to Renege on a Job Offer?

Finding a job is not easy. It can be hard to know when the right job offer comes around, especially since companies are working on different timelines. You might receive an offer for one company, knowing that you have final interviews with another company in two weeks. Should you accept an offer as soon as it comes in and keep interviewing? Should you just say "yes" and see if anything better comes along?

The answer to both those questions is an emphatic "no". Accepting a job, only to turn it down later is called reneging. While this might seem harmless, there are far reaching implications of these decisions to the student, the employer, and the university.

1. Poor professional reputation.

Even if a company does not keep a physical list, the recruiter will likely remember a candidate that has reneged. The recruiter would have worked with you and your name … 

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