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How to Rock the First Day of Your Internship
September 12, 2017
office of Congressman Blake Farenthold

It’s finally here. The first day of your dream internship. It’s a big deal—and it can wreak havoc on your nerves. But don’t worry; we have some hot tips to help you succeed.

Here’s how to rock the first day of your internship and knock the socks off your new boss.

Be on time

This may seem obvious but we are saying it again. Punctuality matters! When it comes to your reputation at your new company, being late is a sure way to lose brownie points. Be early!

  • If you’re not an early bird, set several alarms. Ask a buddy to call you.
  • Prepare your bag the night before so you aren’t hunting for your keys in the AM.
  • You may run into traffic or metro delays so leave early.
  • If you’re not sure how to get to your new office, do a practice run the day before, and figure out your best route.

Remember, this is real life. You get no do-overs.

Do something different

We’re not saying to do anything crazy, but doing something a little out of the ordinary will make you memorable.

Wear a name tag with a funny message. Change it every day. Bring a memento from home or a photo of your dog to put on your desk. It will open up a conversation. Carry a notebook in a wild color or pattern. Small things will be remembered.

Put down the phone

In case you’ve somehow missed the memo, we are about to let you in on a life-changing secret: technology is highly addictive. We’ve all become way too accustomed to checking our phones every few minutes (for some of us, it has even become a nervous tick of sorts).

As soon as you walk through that door, however, turn off your cell phone (unless it is actually necessary for your position). Your new boss does not want to see you texting your friends or checking Instagram while you’re on their dime.

Posting pictures on Facebook can wait until you are on break.

This is so important. The last thing you want them to think is that your attention is divided, or worse, consumed by something “more important.”

Brush up on research on your new employer

While you may have already done some research in order to land your new internship, it never hurts to go back and dig deeper. Do your homework before you walk through that door. Look at the company website and the people page in particular.

Learn everything you can about the company, its services, accomplishments, competition, goals, etc. Look for manager profiles, dress codes and any available news briefings. The more prepared you are, the more you will have to discuss and be able to impress your boss.  

Check out these 9 things companies wish their interns knew

Get ready for lunch

What? You just got here. Why are you thinking about lunch?

This thought probably isn’t at the forefront of your mind, but is actually very important because you’ll want to make the most of this valuable time. First, you probably won’t know how lunches are normally spent at this new company. Do employees dine-in? Do they eat at their desks? Do they go out? Is there a cafeteria?

No matter the situation, come prepared for that first day with a packed lunch. Whether you need it or not, at least you won’t be passing out during the afternoon meeting because you’re starving.

Second, you’ll want to go in with a goal of getting to know the people you’ll be working with and your lunch hour is a great time to do that.

Ask a new colleague to go to lunch with you. Having conversations, making connections, and forming friendships – well, you can’t put a price on any of that, so use your lunchtime wisely.  

Ask questions

One of the best things that you can bring on your first day is a positive attitude. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; that’s what you’re there for. If you don’t understand something, speak up. If you’re curious how something works, express your curiosity. If you need help with a new task, ask away. That’s the whole reason you’re there.  

Internships are your chance to learn something new, gain new experiences and grow. It’s also important to remember that asking a question on the first day is understandable.

That same question might not be taken the same way after you’ve already been on board for 6 weeks.

Above all else on that first day, just take a deep breath and go with the flow. You’re taking a giant first step toward a rewarding and productive career, so be proud of yourself, and don’t be afraid to jump right in.