5 Things I learned on the First Day of My First Internship

The first day at an internship can be a little overwhelming. Working with professionals who are potential future employers, it’s easy to get nervous and make mistakes. Just for you, collegiettes, here’s a list of five things I learned on my first day, so you can learn from my mistakes before you make them yourself.

Bring a pen and a notebook. You will have plenty of questions, and those questions will have answers, and you definitely should write those answers down. The first day is usually a training day. You meet lots of people and you are told what you will be doing and how you should do it. Make sure you bring a pen and notebook so that you can avoid asking questions later that were already explained to you. If you forget a pen and notebook, be prepared to use your lunch break to buy one at a nearby grocery store…. like I did.

Know how to make coffee. If you take the last of the pot, you will have to make a new one. It’s kind of an unspoken rule, but people will speak about it if you don’t.

Research the company beforehand. If you already know about the company’s history and founder, it shows you have a true interest in working there. If not, pretend you do and make sure you do some Google searching ASAP.

Think before you ask a question. You know that saying: “There are no stupid questions”? Throw that one in the trash along with “No white after labor day” (I like my winter white, thank you very much). Before you ask your boss a question, think about it. Are you sure you don’t already know the answer? Can you figure out the answer easily without asking? You can save your boss time and yourself embarrassment if you ask those two questions before the question leaves your mouth. If you still don’t know, though, ask. It’s better to make sure you know what you’re doing beforehand than to do it wrong and have to re-do it after.

Relax. This may be your first internship, but you aren’t the first intern that this company has worked with. Chances are, if you make a mistake, they will forgive you. Just don’t make it twice.