Written by: Eva Zamudio
There are a lot of things to learn in an internship. Besides your responsibilities, there is the companies’ culture, environment, and different things that will help you decided to pick this company if you have the opportunity to get a offer for a job.
That’s is why I created this checklist inspired from an article I read and I am currently working on making sure I will have check off 100% of the list by the end of my internship.
1. Mission Statement: You need to know and understand the mission statement in order to know what contributions will be expected from you. Companies seek profits, of course, but they do so by satisfying a mission for their customers.
2. Customers: You should know the companies’ customer, even if you have not direct contact with them, and you will be able to contribute in the growth of the company (providing good service, innovate ideas, process/document improvements, etc). Every company exists to provide service to their customers, and so does every job within a company
3. Financial Condition: There is no better indication of your fortunes than those of your employer. Take a look in the financial reports if you have access to or read about past years economic grow, challenges and how they treat their employees in each time.
4. Hierarchy of Command: You should know your boss, your boss’s boss and everyone else in your chain of command up to the CEO. If you do not know this information, it can be hard to tell where you would like to stand if you work for this company.
5. Work Benefits: Companies offer different type of benefits plan that includes: health insurance, retirement plan, 401K, etc. Learn about what plans this company is offering and how the employees feel about it, are they happy, or what type of complains they have.
6. HR Rep: Every employee has to deal with a HR representative at some point, so you need to know how much involvement HR has in the employees’ requests, issues, etc. Can you trust your HR representative? Is HR part of the company or they hired a third party to handle HR responsibilities?
7. Public-Statement Policies: A growing number of employees are surprised to learn that what they post on their Web pages or social-networking sites matters to their employers. Policies about public statements that reflect upon the employer’s reputation are increasingly common.
8. IT Help-Desk Contact: Who are you going to call when your computer crashes or you cannot access the network? Help-desk staff can save you hours of frustration and downtime. Their phone numbers should be pasted to your computer monitor.
9. How to Request Supplies: Whether you need a stapler or a new computer, you should know the procedure for requesting supplies. Do you have to go through your boss, or is there a central supplies hot line? What paperwork is involved?
10. Smoking Policy: Even if you do not smoke, you may want to know where your employer allows it so you can avoid those areas. If you smoke, you may find some companies ban smoking during business hours. A few firms even forbid smoking on your own time.
11. Complaint Procedure: Sometimes a complaint with a supervisor or a co-worker cannot be resolved informally. At such times, it is important to know how to begin a formal grievance procedure.
12. Disciplinary Procedures: You must know what disciplinary options are available, from informal admonitions to termination.
13. Fraternization Policy: Office romances happen. Most companies have policies forbidding fraternization between supervisors and subordinates. Others have more stringent policies.
14. Vendor Relations and Gifts Policies: In order to avoid even the appearance of excessive influence upon business relationships, many employees are not allowed to accept gifts from vendors in excess of some nominal amount.