February 9, 2018
You have spent countless hours perfecting your resume, networking with prospective employers, and attending interviews. Now that the internship is yours, you may be wondering how to prepare for your first day. There are several things you can do to ensure that you start off on the right foot and are successful during your time as an intern.
Do Your Research
While ideally, you will have done some research on the company and industry before your interview, it isn’t a bad idea to refresh yourself before your first day on the job. Rachel, a hiring expert from ADP, reminds students, “Upon accepting an internship, it is definitely important to prepare! Doing prior research on the company will help you familiarize yourself with their structure and culture.”1 If you know the group or project that you’ll be assigned to, focus your research on that. If not, see if you can find information on the company culture, their mission, and their values. Any information you can gather beforehand will aid in your success.
Go In With an Open Mind
Whether this is your dream internship or an opportunity that you’re still a little unsure about, your attitude is everything. You’ll want to go into this experience with an open mind so that you can get the most out of it. Sara, a hiring manager from Grace, says, “Be open to the experience, listen and observe, and be willing to lead if presented the opportunity. Remember, you are there to learn as much as possible and gain real-world experience. There are numerous studies that show students who partake in internships have a higher chance of obtaining full-time jobs and are happier about their career choices.”2 This is a chance for you to meet, network with, and learn from professionals in your industry, and the connections and skills you gain from this internship could end up being crucial in obtaining a job after graduation.
Brush Up Your Skills
The company that hired you obviously chose you for a reason; you managed to stand out from all the other applicants and get the internship. Now it’s time to show them that they made the right choice. Make sure you are prepared to do the job that they hired you to do by polishing up your skills. Ashley, a hiring expert from Cardinal Health, suggests, “Prior to starting your internship, I would recommend brushing up on relevant skills you will need to perform your job duties. If there is a specific system or software you know you’ll be using, try to find training materials or guides to practice using them.”3 Not only will this impress your manager, but you will also feel more comfortable and confident going into your first day.
More than anything, being prepared is about the amount of effort you put in, so make sure you set aside some time to get ready for your first day. This will help ensure that you are more than ready to make a great first impression on your boss and coworkers!