All those months of preparation, applications, interviews and organization has led you to this – the first day of your internship.
Not only are you likely living a long way from home without comforts such as family and friends, but you are also likely to be embarking on the first day of your career. This is a very daunting situation – but do not worry, you are not alone in these feelings!
Your main concern will be ensuring you make a good first impression with your bosses and colleagues. This can cause a lot of stress especially if you are unsure of what to expect. The best way to combat these feelings is to be organized.
Here are three things you can do in preparation to make sure your first day runs smoothly:
Be early to work – around 30 minutes should allow you ample time to find your workplace and it allows some buffer time in case you do get lost or held up on your way. Ensuring you are not late to work on your first day will always leave a good first impression.
Dress to impress – unless you have been told specifically what to wear, it is always a good idea to be slightly overdressed on your first day. You may feel a bit silly if no one else in your office is wearing high heels or a tie, but you will feel much more confident about yourself.
Pack lunch – there is nothing worse for our concentration and motivation than being hungry all day! If you find your colleagues all go out for lunch and invite you along, then brilliant, you can save your lunch for tomorrow – but at least you won’t be starving.
So now you’re organized, let’s move onto what to expect from your first day.
There is likely to be a lot of paperwork – signing forms, taking your photograph, writing your contact information over and over again and potentially hours of waiting for your paperwork to be processed. Don’t worry if your first day feels a little unproductive, these are necessary steps.
Secondly, you will likely be given a tour around your new workplace. You should be shown where the important things are such as toilets, emergency exits, and of course where the coffee machine is located! You will also be introduced to many staff members throughout the tour, so either take a notebook to jot everyone’s names down or be ready to memorize many faces and names.
If you can only remember a few names on your first day make sure they are the names of your boss and immediate supervisor. These are the people you want to impress the most!
This whole process could take the entire day. But if not, you may be required to get down to some actual business in the afternoon (this is where your packed lunch may come in handy because, by no doubt, you will be hungry after that manic morning!). Once you are at your desk take a few minutes to breath and settle in to your workplace – you are here, you have made it.
You will likely be given smaller, easier work tasks to begin with so if it feels like they are underestimating your abilities, don’t stress! They will build up to the harder tasks with time once they understand your knowledge and ability. Plus, this takes a lot of pressure off your first day.
Your first day will always be a rollercoaster of stress and emotions and you will no doubt be exhausted by the time knock-off arrives. Remember there will be good days and bad days throughout your internship, so if today hasn’t been the amazing, productive day you had envisioned, do not worry! Be patient and allow time to get used to your new surroundings.