How to Get Retained at Your Internship

Internship is an opportunity that every undergraduate gets to practically relate with their careers of interest. We must all have ever had that intern places retain students who impress but do we really put effort in knowing what kind of impression we require at internships?


There is a lot that is required of an intern besides good impression. Time management, good behavior, excellent work ethics and relations with work mates being the underlying factors. Today let’s sink a bit in what can make you get retained at your intern place.


Developing a Strong Professional Working Relationship with Your Supervisor

Some of you , off record, love to say that your supervisors have been sent from hell for you. But is that the impression you give them? Smile whenever they “stress” you with assignment, they need to know that you love the job – if you really want it. Even when they’re clearly unapproachable, ask them questions whenever you are stuck. By doing that you’ll be developing a working relationship with them that no matter your other flaws, they’ll respect you.


Complete Assigned Projects on Time

If you get an assignment on Monday scheduled for completion by Friday and you complete it two weeks later, that is not a retaining impression. When the supervisor wants it in a week’s time, complete it in half and ask for more. Do it reservingly however, lest you break your own back.


Respect and Associate Well with Other Workmates

Your supervisor is not the only one in the organization you want to be retained at. He won’t be the only one on the interview panel either, so you need to relate well with others too. A greeting every morning doesn’t hurt.


You Need a Remembrance Factor

To be able to achieve your aim of being retained, you need something you’ll be easily remembered for. Interns come to the organisation every year. What is that one thing unique about you that they’ll never forget? Are you the hardworking type? Are you the extremely well behaved type? Find something that you’ll excel at and easily be remembered for. Let it not be late coming however.


While you’re here, MTN Uganda has a Graduate Development Program which is an opportunity for young people to start their careers and grow with the leading telecommunications company. Every year, applications are allowed to train and empower graduates with the hope of employing them in various fields.

Nabadda Beatrice; What it Feels Like to Intern at MTN

MTN I believe is the biggest telecom company in Africa later on Uganda. This means that very many young people would love to get the feel of working in such a big corporation.


We were able to catch up with Nabadda Beatrice; one of the students who did internship at MTN in their intake last year to find out what her experience was like.

How did you apply for internship?

With my pulse bundles, i was always surfing the internet looking for opportunities around. Just like that i landed on a link from MTN asking interns to apply for placements. I did and luckily enough, I was shortlisted for a written interview. The written interview was basically general knowledge just like in general paper and the last question was about MTN to see if I had any knowledge about their products and services. After a while, I received a message on my phone that I had been given an internship placement.

Beatrice, right, with a colleague at an MTN Pulse event


What was your experience like?

The experience was really good. As opposed to other people saying that they go to relax at their internship placements, I had serious work. On day one we had orientation where we met everyone from top to bottom in terms of hierarchy. We had to be at work by 8am and had to leave at about 4:30-5pm. Our dress code had to be corporate from Monday to Thursday and causal on Friday. It was a learning experience because for example I had no experience in human resource but it was like I had graduated in one after I had left. I was also able to be a part of an interview panel to learn how interviews are conducted.

Beatrice engaging in an MTN work-fun event

What were the people at MTN like?

They were and still are very professional and cool. They were very nice and engaging. I learnt so much from different people, even from those that were outside the department where i was placed. They also interviewed us when we were finishing our internship to find out what they could do better for the interns to come.

Interns at MTN from last year

Would you go back to do work with MTN if given the opportunity?

YES! I would jump right at it with no doubt. I was made to feel at home and the people at MTN know how to mix work and fun.

How to Dress Well for Internship

Different people treat internship differently. To some ‘internship is just internship’ to others it’s their first real job experience but I’m here to tell you that it has built massive stepping stones for so many people and therefore it deserves as much respect as you would accord to another job. For this reason, here is how to dress well for internship;


Be decent.

Being decent does not mean you lose yourself in old fashioned and out of trend clothes but also we must agree that decent is relative and it varies from person to person. For the ladies, a pencil knee length skirt with a white button down shirt and a cute blazer is almost a must have. You can not be the intern that everyone is ignoring because they assume you will not deliver and also be the one that dresses ‘fwaa’. Dress the part and I will be ready to hear how everyone was giving you attention. For the gents, the very tight and almost uncomfortable pants will not do you justice in a corporate environment. You do not want to stand out as the guy everyone is questioning. It sucks! Decent and well fitted dark colored trousers will save your day.


Be stylish.

While you are doing your shopping, go for the not so common clothes. This will help you stand out as a stylish intern that everyone will want to come to when seeking fashion advise. We all love talking to well dressed people. It’s natural and pleasing to the eyes. Since Friday is a dress down day for most organizations and companies, use this chance to pull out your sleek casual outfits. But at the back of your mind, remember decency is key.


A nice pant or skirt suit.

Having at least one suit is a good thing for every working class lady. The more serious you look with how you dress, the more respect comes your way. We must represent the company’s image at all times.

Just like all other employees, interns also represent the company’s image in how they dress and present themselves in the business environment to other workers, clients, and customers. Showing up in sneakers and jeans sends a message to others that you are not serious about representing the company and are not there to contribute and learn in meaningful ways.


The little black dress and chinos.

It is shared knowledge that every lady should own a number of black dresses for various occasions and a pretty little black dress is ideal for work at any day or time. Black, dull as it might be, is a safe colour that allows you to pop. It provides a glow that is usually hidden by other colors. It also allows your accessories to pop. It’s perfect for a meetings filled day or a casual Friday. Guys, even when you own gazillion gentle pants, a pair of chinos is a must have. This will save your day. It can pass for a business and casual look. Have at least two pairs in your wardrobe.


Your hair, shoes, makeup and accessories count too.

Passing as a well dressed intern does not only accrue from the clothes you wear. The whole package you are counts. Ranging from hair styles to accessories and shoes. You wouldn’t want to make hair that is so colorful when going to work. Unless it is a requirement at your work place, I would not recommend this at all. Guys should also be careful with the haircuts the get. Some are too ratchet for a working environment. Here is a style hack for the style maniacs. While you don’t want to overdo it with accessories, adding a one statement piece like a stylish scarf, a necklace, a cute sweater, a nice pair of shoes makes for an outfit that is professional without seeming sketchy.


Internship is about building a path to your future career, it’s about making connections and meaningfully networking. Therefore, don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the one you want.