Milestone Minute: Rocking Your Summer Job with Rebecca van Uitert

Summer externships are important for law school students because they are essentially one large interview. Becoming a highly respected and sought-after employee often requires a little extra effort. Even those who have been working somewhere for years might find they can reinvigorate their work with a few simple changes. Keep the following five categories and accompanying principles in mind and you will rock your summer job:

  • Attorney Wellness
    • Build time into your day to pray and meditate
    • Leave your desk for lunch
    • Connect with people you care about
    • Ask for help if you need it.
    • Keep energy up by walking, stretching, drinking water, or connecting with co-workers
  • Professionalism
    • Immediately respond to every email that is sent to you
    • Arrive early
    • Never miss a social event
    • Don’t play on the internet or have your phone on your desk while you work
    • Don’t wear headphones
  • Continue networking
    • Email people you know you’ll be working with and make social connections before your first day
    • Go to every social event you are invited to—work late if you need to
    • Go to as many networking events outside of the office as you can
  • Attitude
    • Approach situations with a good attitude
    • Be positive, open and curious
    • Don’t be negative, complain, or offer critiques
  • Office Dynamics
    • Ask your boss what you can do to make their job easier
    • Be humble, flexible, and kind
    • Seek to build up other interns, not to compete with them
    • Express gratitude often and treat everyone well
    • Be open-minded, inclusive, and deliberately seek out people who are different from you
    • If you receive negative feedback, take it very seriously; you need to face it head on and handle it

As dean of Career Services and Professional Development at BYU Law, Rebecca van Uitert works to guide students toward leadership and meaningful employment. Prior to joining BYU Law, she practiced corporate immigration law at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP at both their Chicago and New York City offices.

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