Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

How to Have a Successful First Day at Your New Internship

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Elizabethtown chapter.

Another academic year has come to a close. After an action packed semester, it’s time to start your next adventure: the internship. Internships are a great way to spend the summer. You’ll make new network connections, build your resume and gain a better understanding of where your interests lie. Check out these tips to learn how to have a successful first day at your new internship:

1. Pick Out Your Outfit the Day Before

You’ve managed to dress to impress during the interview, but the first day at your new internship is not the time to forget about fashion. Throughout your first day, you’ll likely be meeting lots of new people a the organization, so be sure to dress for the occasion. Most organizations have some sort of dress code that may range from casual to business formal. If you’re unsure about the expectations at your new internship, ask ahead of time! Plan your first day outfit accordingly.

2. Figure Out How Long Your Commute Will Be

You don’t want to be late on your first day! Take into consideration how long it took you to get to the interview and plan your route accordingly. Be sure to account for morning traffic and plan on getting there about 15 minutes early.

3. Go to Sleep Early

Your schedule this semester probably had plenty of breaks between classes and adequate time for lunch. A full time internship may be a rude awakening. Four hours of sleep may have been enough to get you through two classes, but you’ll need much more rest to get through and eight hour day.

4. Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Be sure to leave time for breakfast in the morning. You’ll need enough energy to get you through the day, and it’s important to remain alert throughout your internship training. You don’t want to miss important information, and you want to show your supervisors that you’re interested in and attentive to the work.

5. Pack the Essentials

For your first day, you’ll want to bring a notebook and pen, a snack, a water bottle and some cash. Be sure to ask about the parking situation in advance and whether or not most people pack their lunch for work.

6. Take Notes

Take notes throughout your training. This will help you better absorb the information, and it will give you a point of reference so you don’t have to ask a thousand questions later. Taking notes will also show your trainer that your conscientious about the work you’re doing and that you’re eager to learn more.

7. Ask Questions

Your first day is the perfect time to ask questions. Clarify any confusing steps in your training, ask about the history of the company and learn more about what’s ahead. It’s much easier to ask questions when you’re new than to ask about something simple months down the road.

8. Be Friendly and Eager

A little bit of kindness goes a long way. Be nice to everyone you encounter because you don’t know who you’re going to be working with later. If you’re kind to your coworkers, they’ll be more willing to help you with the job and with making connections later. Also demonstrate a good work ethic. This is your chance to make a great first impression. You don’t want to be labeled as the lazy, unfriendly intern.

Following these steps will help you make it through the first day of your internship, and they will also help carry you through the entire experience. What are some lessons you learned from your first day at a new intership?  

Kristen Wade

Elizabethtown '19

Kristen Wade is a senior Communications major with a concentration in PR and a minor in Graphic Design at Elizabethtown College. Kristen loves hiking, shopping, and baking. After graduation, Kristen hopes to work in digital marketing.