Starting an internship is a rite of passage. It’s the first job, and you’ll learn a lot about what’s important in the workplace. But getting prepared for your own internship can be daunting: you don’t want to get stuck doing boring work or ruin your chances at earning a paycheck by making mistakes.
So we’ve compiled this list of insider tips for making sure that your first day on the job is as successful as possible!
These tips are important because they help you to be a successful intern, but they also apply to your future career as well!
1. Do a little research on the company and its culture before the first day
Do some research on the company and its culture before starting your internship. Find out what the company’s values and mission are, as well as how you can add value to those goals by working hard and being good at what you do.
Learn about the history of the company, including any major milestones or events that they’ve been involved with in the past. This will help you gain a better understanding of what kind of work environment it is like there (and why).
You might also want to look into current business trends in order to yourself if this is something where you could potentially make connections later down the line when looking for another job after graduation!
2. Find out if the company has an employee resource group you would like to join, and mention it during your interview
As an intern, you may be wondering how to best connect with your coworkers and the company. There are many ways to do this—through social media, in person at happy hours or lunchtime meetups, on a company email list (if available), or even just by talking about what you like about working there.
The most important thing is finding a place where you feel comfortable. If you’re able to fit in with other employees from day one of your internship and build good relationships with them while also learning plenty of new things about the industry itself, then that’s great!
3. Ask questions during your interview
Ask open-ended questions that encourage the other person to talk about things that are important to them. When you ask an open-ended question, the other person will have more freedom to answer in the way they see fit. You can also ask questions about their personal and professional goals, which will help you get insight into what motivates them.
- What is the company culture? How is it different from other companies you’ve worked for, and how do they differ from each other?
- What are the supervisor’s expectations of me, and how should I approach them?
- Are there any specific skills that he or she expects me to learn, or even master in order to succeed at my position?
- Is there anything unique about this role that makes it different from others you’ve had before—or will have later on in life (e.g., starting out as an intern)?
In addition to asking questions about these things directly from your potential supervisor (which will help you gain insight), keep an eye out for opportunities throughout the day when others might be talking about their experiences working with him/her before moving on with something else entirely.
This could give you insight into his/her personality traits which you would otherwise not know unless you asked directly yourself.
4. Take time to connect with people apart from work
- Take time to get to know people in your work environment.
- Get to know people outside of work.
- Ask them about their lives outside of work.
- Ask them about their hobbies and interests, as well as their families (if relevant).
- Be a good listener.
5. Ask questions during your internship
Ask questions about the company, its goals and mission, and what it means to be a part of the team. Ask about your day-to-day responsibilities at work. Ask your supervisor what he/she thinks of you so far; if he/she has noticed any areas for improvement or things that need more attention from you.
Ask questions about:
- The company culture.
- The company’s goals.
- The company’s history.
- The company’s products or services.
- The company’s values, and
- How they can help you grow as an intern in this role (e.g., “How does your team work together?”).
This can also be a great way to learn more about yourself outside of your day-to-day tasks at work!
6. Make sure you know the internship’s compensation policy
Some companies offer a stipend, while others offer full-time employment. If you’re interested in receiving a stipend, make sure that your internship responsibilities match up with what is expected of someone who has been hired on as an intern.
Additionally, if you’re offered a salary for your position as an intern (rather than just a stipend), be sure to ask about any benefits that come along with the job!
It’s important to know whether or not you’ll be compensated for your time, and if so, how much. If you’re not getting paid at all, ask yourself if it’s worth taking on an unpaid internship.
7. Stick to a schedule and make it a realistic one
The first thing you need to do when starting an internship is set a realistic schedule. Whether you have a busy schedule or not, it’s important that your schedule is one that will allow you to do the work and keep up with school demands.
If it seems impossible for your schedule to be more than what it is now, don’t be afraid to ask others for help! If possible, try not to have too many commitments at once; instead of trying out new things all at once, break them down into smaller steps so they’re easier on both yourself and those around you.
Also remember: even if something goes wrong during this time (and it will), don’t let that stop progress from happening!
8. Outline specific goals for yourself
One of the first steps to taking on an internship is to make sure that you know exactly what kind of experience you’re looking for. Do you want to learn new skills? Have a chance to gain experience in your field? Are there specific tasks that need to be completed?
In order for an internship to be successful, it must be clear why it’s necessary and how it will benefit both parties involved. This can include things like:
- Knowing what exactly needs to be done at work (and when)
- Understanding how long each task should take
- Making sure everyone knows what their job duties are
9. Dress appropriately, and to impress
You need to remember that your appearance reflects on you, so make sure it’s professional. When applying for internships, dress appropriately, and impress. Dress in a way that will help you feel confident and comfortable in front of people who are important to your future career path.
As an intern in any industry, it’s crucial that the position has some level of prestige or authority attached to it (even if just barely).
10. Don’t be afraid to stand out
Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about the company. You want to be an asset and make a good impression on your boss and co-workers.
You should also be open to learning new things, even if it’s just by going out for lunch with a co-worker who has an interest in something different than what you do.
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes—if no one else is taking initiative or trying hard enough at something, then it’s your job as an intern that matters most!
If you’re thinking about starting an internship right away, don’t hesitate to do so. It’s a great way to gain experience and grow your resume while also helping other people. If you do these five things, you’ll be ready to start your internship with confidence and success.