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Anna Goddard-Jones
Career

How to Prepare for your Summer Internship

Easter is almost here, then it’s just a month of exams and *boom* Summer Break is upon us! But not everyone decides to pay attention to the ‘break’ aspect of the Summer months, and if you’ve landed an internship this Summer, then you might want to consider these quick tips about how to prepare.

1) Dress to Impress

Not only is shopping for work clothes a great pass-time between revision and exams in May/June, nothing feels better than finding an outfit that fills you with confidence from head to toe. If you’re looking for sharp workplace fashion on a student-friendly budget, I recommend H&M, Topshop, and ASOS for youthful, affordable styles. Don’t forget to browse your local charity shops either! I managed to pick up a smart black blazer in like-new condition for £4 last year from my local British Heart Foundation shop.

A picture of clothes on racks at a clothing store
Prudence Earl

2) Email Ahead

It may seem obvious, but not everyone does this! About a week before your due to start, email your placement contact to say how excited you are to begin and ask if there’s anything you need to do to prepare. Even if there’s nothing, this shows enthusiasm and initiative and ensures you’ll get off one the right foot. If you have LinkedIn, connect with them and drop them a message! This will keep them on your network for future opportunities too.

3) Figure out your Travel

Again, fairly obvious, but very very important! If you’re driving, look up average travel times for that time of day and figure out where you’re going to park. If you’re travelling by bus/train, see if you need to buy tickets in advance, look up timings, and figure out how you’re getting there from the train/bus station. It’s always best to arrive early on your first day, or at least on time, so make sure you plan your journey out in detail before you travel to avoid turning up late.

people standing and walking around at a mall
Anna Dziubinska on Unsplash

4) Think about what you want to get out of the experience

You’ve gone to all this effort to land this placement; why? It’s easy to get swept up in the work and people when you first start your internship, and forget why you’re really there. Are you there to network? To test if a career/job/company is right for you? To build up a certain skill? This is particularly important for shorter placements, but relevant for summer-long ones too. Set yourself some basic targets before you begin and keep these in mind throughout.

A group of people are in a meeting. They appear to be in a conference room at work. A woman is standing and shaking hands across the table with a man who is sitting down.
fauxels | Pexels

To all of you heading off for to placement or internship this Summer, congratulations and good-luck. Dress up, plan ahead, and totally smash it!

I'm an undergraduate reading BSc Politics and International Relations at the University of Exeter. I have a passion for current affairs and want to write articles that make complicated issues understandable for everyone. As a proud aspergirl and Childline ambassador I also want to use my writing to raise awareness around mental health conditions and disabilities.
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