3 Tips to Help You Have a Great First Day at Your Internship
Whether you’re starting a new internship, working an on-campus job, or just coming back to your job after being away for the holidays, it’s important to have a great first day in order to build your confidence and establish good working habits and goals.
Unfortunately, first day jitters are not something you leave behind in high school or even college. Starting a new internship or job, or coming back after being away for a while, can be equally (if not more) stressful, especially if you’re going into your new office without a game plan. Here are some essential first-day tips to set you up for success at your new (or current!) internship.
Say Yes (Even Before You’re Asked)
Employers value team members who are proactive, both professionally and socially. Accept any opportunities to learn about your company and your coworkers, including invitations to office lunches or the chance to learn a new software system. Go the extra mile by seeking out your own opportunities for growth and development. Instead of waiting for your coworkers to talk to you, make an effort to introduce yourself and connect with them. Similarly, if there is a system or process that is unfamiliar to you, seek out opportunities to deepen your understanding, either through independent research or via an online class or one-on-one session with a coworker.
Take Detailed Notes
As an intern, it’s important to prioritize learning the procedures and processes your company or organization relies on. Remember that you are (most likely) walking into a pre-existing world, with an established set of routines and patterns. Learn as much as you can about how procedural tasks are carried through and your supervisor’s expectations. Instead of assuming you know how to perform a certain process, review how it is done at your company and make note of even subtle differences. In the weeks that follow, you can look back on these notes to ensure you are following protocol and to avoid repeating the same questions you asked on your first day.
Come Back to Your “Why”
Presumably, you accepted your internship because you believe it will help you deepen your expertise in a field you are passionate about. Before walking into your first day, take a moment to reflect on the experiences that inspired you to seek out this position, the competencies you have that made you a desirable candidate, and the skills you hope to acquire from your job. Write out what you want to learn and where you hope to be professionally a year from your start date. The first few weeks at a new internship can be overwhelming, regardless of how impressive your resume is or how much relevant experience you posses. Throughout the internship, review the goals you created for yourself and re-evaluate your progress, what you wish you to learn more about, and the steps you will need to take in order to get there.
Internships and relevant academic courses are key to helping you prepare for professional opportunities in any career path. If you’re a student seeking career guidance or internship suggestions, don’t be afraid to reach out to a counselor at your school or work with an independent consultant. At IvyWise, we provide internship placement services in a variety of fields for students of all ages. Contact us today for more information on internship placement.