The first day at an internship can be nerve-wracking; after all, you’re the lowly intern trying to learn and make a good impression. That good impression starts on day 1 and goes for the full length of the relationship as well as afterwards because an important part of an
internship is networking and making those big connections. Here are some things to keep in mind to help you start off right.
- Dress the part. Your physical appearance is often how you make a first impression. That being said, you should dress the part. Unless you’ve been told otherwise by your supervisor you should be dressed professionally for your internship. Guys, this means slacks, dress shoes, a nice button up shirt and a tie possibly even a suit jacket. Girls, you can dress in any sort of nice blouse, slacks, dresses or skirts, just be smart with your clothing, shorts should be of a respectable length and blouses shouldn’t be overly tight or revealing. You don’t want to start off on the wrong foot simply because of the clothes you’re wearing.
- Be timely. First and foremost, show up to work a little early. It looks sloppy when you show up right on time or even late. Plus, in case something unexpected, like traffic due to an accident, happens you have a little cushion to hopefully prevent you from being late. It’s better to be a little early than simply remembered for always being late.
- Be polite. I know this is something that should be considered common sense but sometimes it’s good to be reminded. Keep in mind things like a firm handshake when you’re introduced to someone, properly addressing people and just and just using your basic manners.
- Be helpful. You’re ultimately there to learn so this should be beneficial to everyone. Be willing to speak up and offer your help/ask if there is anything you can do to help. Not only does it show them initiative as well as interest, it may create more opportunities for you.
- Put the phone away. I know that this might seem like a lot to ask but unless you need your phone for your internship it should be out of sight. It doesn’t make a good impression if you’re sitting there on your phone texting your friends or tweeting. If you’re looking for something to do think of #4.
- Know when to ask for help. It can feel intimidating having to ask someone for help with one of the tasks that you’ve been assigned but in the long run you’re better off asking. When you don’t ask for help and then end up making a mistake it normally causes someone else to have to go and fix it and take sup valuable time. It’s much easier to ask someone to take 5 minutes to explain a task in better detail than it is to have to have hours wasted because it has to be done twice.
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