Here’s the scene: it’s your first serious internship. You’ve purchased the perfect flattering-yet-classy suit, the cute-yet-comfortable heels. You’re trendy, you’re professional, you’ve got a colored pen for every situation and you’re ready to tackle that first rung on the corporate ladder. But there’s trouble ahead, a situation that, despite all your schooling, you’re completely unprepared for: the office happy hour. In college, a tasteful night of drinking might include buying a $13.50 bottle of Smirnoff instead of a $7 bottle of Bartons. But shots of tequila—no matter how expensive—aren’t going to cut it at the office. I talked to Diane Gottsman, a nationally recognized etiquette expert, about the dos and don’ts of office happy hours. Here are her tips, organized into three easy steps for collegiettes™ hoping to become the most fun girl at the office, but also the first one the boss turns to when the going gets tough.
Step 1: Prepare Yourself!
The first thing to think about is whether you want to attend an office happy hour at all. If none of your fellow interns are going, showing up might prove a little uncomfortable, especially if you’re not the most outgoing of gals. But consider it anyway—social opportunities like happy hours provide you ample opportunities to network within the office. They already know you’re a competent worker—show them you’re a competent socializer, too.