9. Be On Time & Prepared
Show up 10-15 minutes early. There are a lot of factors that go into arriving early. Attempt a dry run for the commute during similar office hours and the pre-commute routine is all set.
Arrive prepared with all supplies you might need for the first day or the duration of the internship; this may include a computer, notebook & pen, proper identification for any security issues, or paperwork for HR. If you’re unsure of what to bring contact the person who hired you at least 3 days before the internship start date.
8. Dress Professionally
Ask about dress code well before the start date. Plan to exceed dress code standards. Aim to always be more professionally dressed than your boss or supervisor. This doesn't mean one should buy a new wardrobe but is more about awareness of presentation. While dress code isn’t always a big deal in some office cultures, it’s a great way to make a strong positive impression. In addition, make sure all articles of clothing are appropriate; if this is a new work environment for you research what is appropriate to wear.
7. Be Friendly
Make friends with the receptionist(s) or office manager(s). These are the people who know everyone in the company; secretaries and office managers know employee’s habits, schedules, coffee preferences, and are good resources and friends to have. Plus, it’s always nice to have someone to smile and chat to on your way in and out of the office.
6. Ask Questions
If there is an orientation, have two or three questions prepared in advance and ready to ask; not all questions need to be asked in a public forum so be aware of which should be asked directly to a supervisor. Asking questions will make supervisors more aware of your presence and distinguish you from other interns. Most likely other interns will want similar questions answered and speaking up in a well informed and thought out manner will emphasize leadership capabilities. This is especially important if you want to take on more responsibility or special projects during the internship.
5. Make Yourself Known
If there is time, reach out to superiors who have already or can possibly have impact on your internship. Find the person who hired you, whether your direct boss or HR, and thank them for this opportunity. With sincerity, seek out the CEO or other C-Suite team members and briefly make note about your excitement and readiness to work for the company; this tends to work better in smaller, start up-like companies.
4. Maintain Connections
Ask your supervisor for the names and titles of the top people in your company and in your department. Find them and connect on LinkedIn with a note in the invitation about being the newest member of the intern team. Take time to read their profiles, look at their accomplishments, and find connection possibilities to bring up in conversation; this will give you a better perspective on the company and what experiences they value in employees.
3. Start Networking
Ask a potential mentor to lunch or coffee sometime during your first week. Try to eat lunch with a different person once every week. Build your network, better understand the different jobs within the company and cultivate a mentor. Make sure when you ask someone to lunch or coffee you have a list of questions prepared beforehand.
2. Set Goals
Make and update a list of goals for the internship. As they are accomplished or changed adapt your list. This becomes a great source of information for reflection, performance review, and resume building at the end of the program.
1. Start & Stay Productive
Set yourself up for a productive internship. This means smile, work diligently, be friendly, introduce yourself to people you don’t know, volunteer to help out even if it isn’t the most glamorous task, ask many questions and learn as much as possible. Not sure of the best way to contribute to the company? Ask your supervisor for a “sit down” meeting early on to discuss in detail ways to enhance your achievements and how to aid in the success of the company.