Getting Internship Ready
Your hard work has paid off and you’ve landed an internship (or relevant experience) this summer! Before you take it easy and revel in a job well done, you want to be sure you’re ready to tackle your internship. Now that you have the internship, don’t let the hard work stop. If you understand that your internship is a multiple week interview, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure you make a positive impression in the company through your work and contributions.
Here are a couple of tips and tricks to help you prepare for and win your internship:
- Make the first day count! Show up to your internship ready to work. This includes dressing the part, having the appropriate paperwork handy for HR and being ready to work. Recognize that your first day maybe a little chaotic. If you didn’t receive instructions from your new supervisor or HR about how to prepare, ask! Identify what time you should arrive at the office; inquire about parking, which floor in the building you should arrive to and who you should ask for. Dress in business casual for at least your first week on the job, unless instructed otherwise. Prepare to meet a lot of people and bounce from your department to HR to your desk and back again. Have a notebook or padfolio ready to take notes and consider packing a couple of snacks and water for the day. You might go out to lunch for your first day, but don’t assume this. And then, at the end of the day, take a deep breath. You survived your first day!
- Do your job, plus! In most internships, you have an assigned set of tasks to complete. Perhaps you support a department; maybe its a specific team. In addition to the tasks to complete or team to support, you might also have an intern project that you’ll complete over the course of the summer. Some of you will finish all assignments and projects before the end of the summer. If this happens to be you, recognize that this is a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues better and learn about different parts of the company you work for. Go ask for things to do! Ask multiple colleagues if there’s something you can assist with. Express your willingness to learn and help. A job well done makes their job easier and you stand out as the awesome intern.
- Network, network, network! It’s not very often that you have the ability to ask the director/manager/Vice President/partner/Chief Executive to lunch. As an intern, you are afforded such luxuries. Your intern program may have scheduled intern lunches that include guest speakers. Attend all of these lunches and come prepared having done your research on the guest with a few questions identified. If your company doesn’t have this type of structure in place, ask your direct supervisor if it is appropriate to ask the Vice President, partner or Chief Executive to lunch. Follow their protocol whether they reach out on your behalf or you send an email directly to the individual. Use any time you have to seek advice and guidance. Do NOT ask for a job or future employment.
- Thank yous that stand out! Following any networking opportunity and especially at the end of your internship, send thank you notes to those who helped you throughout your internship. A thank you email is appropriate but consider writing and sending a handwritten thank you note. You’ll stand out for the time and effort you took and your sincerity will leave a lasting impression.
If you have questions while on internship, we’re here to help! Contact your career advisor any time during the summer or call the Career Center at 979.845.5139 for assistance. Happy interning!