What to do on the first day of your summer internship

June 7, 2016  | By Ketner Group

You’re probably feeling some nerves. Finals are finally over and summer is finally here but the first day of a summer internship is likely making you feel a little anxious.

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courtesy of Creative Commons

Lucky for you, I’m here to share some good news. Having both experienced the first day as an intern (four times!) and a boss (twice!), everyone feels excited and a little nervous about the first day.

Plus, an internship is a great opportunity to uncover your strengths and try out a variety of projects. It will help you get the job you want and it will also help you understand who you are and what you can offer.

In order to help you prepare for that first day, and the days to come, I’ve come up with three Do’s to ensure you make a great first impression and create a lasting positive impression. Say hello to a guaranteed recommendation!

Do: Ask Questions

Curiosity shows engagement and interest. The first day is all about getting the lay of the land. Questions will help you figure out how the company is run and how you can best support the goals your employer is hoping you can help achieve. Your questions should be aimed at understanding first and achieving second. Questions will help you to understand how the company works and what you’ll do. But they’ll also help you figure out how you can best succeed on a project you’ve been assigned. Remember, you’re interning to support the company but you’re also interning in order to learn! Questions ensure you impact the company the best way you can and prepare you for your next job.

Do: Dress the Part

Ah, the blessing and the curse of clothing. No matter whether you love it or hate it, our clothes represent who we are and reflect our opinion of any situation. For the first day of your summer internship, you’ll want to dress to reflect your respect of your new organization and fit in with the company culture. Did everyone wear jeans and a t-shirt when you interviewed? Go for a tailored but relaxed look: black slacks, a knee length dress or a sweater and blouse. Consider wearing your new suit as separates and save the jeans for your second month on the job. Did everyone wear suits and tie when you interviewed? Match their clothes and find yourself something equally buttoned up. Nordstrom Rack and Neiman Marcus Last Call are great resources for a college budget.

Do: Your Homework

Help make your first day less stressful and ensure you make a great first impression by spending an hour or so preparing for your job. First, you’ll want to get familiar with your company: check out the website, make sure you know the name of your new employer and figure out the route you’ll travel to get to the office. Second, set some expectations and goals for your work. How do you want this job to help you get your next job? How do you want this job to set you up for your dream career? What do you want to learn? Who do you want to meet? By understanding these answers before you even set foot in the office, you’ll ensure you achieve what you want. That makes for a better future and a more fun, relaxing present.

Now, you have the tools you need to start your new internship. By encouraging yourself to ask questions, dressing for success and doing you’re homework, you’re guaranteed to have a great first day. And remember, you already completed the hardest part of getting ready for your first day: you were hired. You’re already well on your way.