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Resources > Internships > Professionalism

The Importance of Acting Professional

Becoming a professional communicator involves more than just learning how to use equipment or how to format a press release. From your first day of becoming a Communication major, you should focus on developing a habit of professional behavior. It’s important to the success of your undergraduate experience while working with teachers and other students, it’s very important as a qualifying criteria for an internship, and it will be of critical importance once your enter the workforce.

Merriam-Webster defines professional as “characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession.” But it’s more than that. Being professional is ultimately a consummate human communication skill. However, many people are unaware of what the definition of professional even is or how to incorporate it into their daily routine. Being professional not only lets people know you are a competent person to work with, but also conveys intelligence and maturity.

Here are just a few traits considered "professional"

  • Posses a record of ethical behavior. Students who have violated the WSU Academic Honesty policy will be considered to have exhibited unethical behavior
  • Be courteous and have good manners
  • Be punctual, meet deadlines and keep appointments
  • Keep confidential information confidential
  • Accept constructive criticism calmly
  • Listen to other’s views
  • Recognize limits of personal behavior with others
  • Apologize for errors or misunderstandings
  • If you commit to something, do it
  • If you are delayed or unable to keep an appointment, let the other person know as soon
  • as possible
  • Be reliable and dependable
  • Be modest when accepting praise
  • Accept responsibility for your actions. Don’t be defensive if errors are pointed out
  • Demonstrate self-control and avoid public arguments and disagreements
  • Never create work you are not proud to have your name on, and always do your best work
  • Do not go "over your bosses head" over petty behaviors
  • Always produce your best work, on time and without errors in spelling or grammar
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