As the spring semester comes to a close for many college students, summer break not only calls for some relaxation, but also some relevant career experience. Working an internship during the summer is a smart way to gain real world experience that won’t interfere with being a full-time student in the fall or spring. Since almost a decade ago, around 60% of college students completed an internship or co-op before graduating.
If you’re awaiting the first day of your internship, you may feel anxious – and that’s completely normal! Trading the familiar atmosphere of college for an unknown work environment is sure to strike some nerves. I felt this way nearly a year ago before starting my internship here at Employment Enterprises. Luckily, there are some things you can do to ease your stress and better prepare you for your first day on the job.
1. Reread important information.
While you should have acquainted yourself with the job description and company values prior to your interview, it’s a good idea to refresh before your start date. Part of knowing what to expect can be done by researching the company online and reviewing documents like your official offer letter and employee handbook. Your knowledge will also show the team how passionate you are about the position.
2. Set your intentions.
An internship is likely the first time you’re encountering the field you want to pursue, and companies know that. Think about specific goals you seek to achieve, what skills you want to gain, and what areas you want to improve in. Keep these in mind as you complete your internship to see how much you’ve grown. Many of your acquired skills will be great resume builders once you graduate.
3. Learn your commute.
You likely have a GPS app on your smartphone that will show you how to get to the office and how long it will take. (And some apps will even account for traffic!) Make sure to allot yourself more than enough time to arrive to decrease your chances of being late. Consider doing a “trial run” of your commute a few days before you start so you know what to expect. If you intend to use public transportation, make sure you know what routes to take and how much money it will cost.
4. Plan to dress for success.
Like an interview outfit, it may be hard to gauge what to wear on the first day. Check your employee handbook for any specifics and take a look at the company’s social media to see what people at the office wear. When in doubt, it’s always best to dress up! Try on your outfit the night before to have less hassle in the morning and more confidence in what you’re wearing.
5. Keep in contact with your manager.
Your manager probably knows more about your first day than you do. Make sure to email them as your start date comes closer to confirm last-minute details. These details could include paperwork, identification, parking, dress code, and more depending on your work situation.
6. Take a deep breath.
While you may feel nervous leading up to your internship, it’s important to remember that you were chosen for a reason. You’ve shined on your resume, and you’ve nailed your interview, so it’s time to put forth your best effort and show your skills! If you’ve taken these steps to prepare before you begin work, you’ll be sure to impress.