Intern Diary #1: What to Do Before Your First Day
If you have just landed an internship, good for you! Getting an internship is a tremendous accomplishment, and it’s also a great opportunity to impress employers in your desired career field.
Any internship takes a little preparation, though. Here are a few things you should plan to do before your first day as an intern.
1. Talk with students who have already completed an internship.
Try connecting with someone who was a former intern at your soon-to-be internship site, and ask him or her what you should know going into your first day.
What is the most challenging part of interning with this business, and what is the most rewarding part? Do company personnel allow you to work on professional assignments? Would you recommend this internship to other students? These are just a few of the questions that will be beneficial to ask a former intern.
If you cannot connect with a former intern at your company, talk to interns from other companies. Anyone who has previously completed an internship can give you knowledgeable advice that is sure to come in handy during your experience.
2. Research the company.
It’s always good to know some general information about the company with which you’ll be interning. There’s a good chance employees will ask you questions like, “What piqued your interest in working with our company? What do you like about this particular company? What do you hope to bring to the company?”
Employees will quickly be able to tell if you don’t know anything about the company based on your answers to these questions, so it is always best to come prepared.
3. Familiarize yourself with the area.
If you are interning in a city or town you are unfamiliar with, take some time to travel to your internship site before your first day and familiarize yourself with the surrounding area. There may be days when you will be asked to travel during your internship, and while you could always rely on a GPS, it is still a good idea to be acquainted with your surroundings.
4. Ask about the dress code.
This is one often-overlooked step in the internship preparation process, but it is very important. I recommend asking your supervisor about the dress code in advance so you can plan your outfits and buy new clothes, if necessary.
If you don’t want to ask anyone about the dress code, take a moment to think about what type of company or business you will be interning with and the tasks you might be asked to complete while on the job.
If you’re interning in an office environment, business casual or business professional dress is probably the way to go. If your internship will likely involve outdoor work, a more casual look might be your best option.
5. Develop an online presence.
Employees of your internship site may want to get some background information on you before you come to work on your first day, but they won’t be able to do that if you have no online presence.
If you have work samples that relate to your internship, post them to an online platform, whether it’s social media, LinkedIn or your own personal website. Then, be sure to provide a link to your chosen platform on your resume or in an email to your future colleagues.
Once again, congratulations on landing an internship, and good luck on your first day!