Top tips to rock your first day of internship

D.cisions magazine - Issue 6

Congratulations on landing your dream internship! Now, it’s time to prepare for the big day. The first day on the job may seem daunting and stressful, but you are not alone. Here are some essential tips to start things off on the right foot and help you make a lasting impression that counts.

#1: Keep yourself updated on the latest news and happenings of the company

Conduct research about the company, news, employees, and working culture beforehand. You can start by reviewing their social media profiles, or simply do a search of the company online. Being in the know makes you look more involved and current, it also provides you with common topics to start conversations with your colleagues.

#2: Be mentally and physically ready

Don’t wait till the morning! Pack your bag the night before and make sure you have everything you need for your first day. Having a good night’s sleep and waking up fresh will help keep your energy level up. If you feel overly excited or anxious, channel the energy to do some mental visualisation of yourself completing a successful day at work. To keep your body fuelled, treat yourself to a nutritious breakfast before work.

#3: Arrive early

Plan your journey to the office and factor in extra time for the peak hour traffic in the morning. As a rule of thumb, target to arrive 10-15 minutes early; it reflects your professionalism and allows you to time settle down. You can even practice your commute before the first day so you are familiar with the route and have a good idea of the commute time.

#4: Dress to impress and smile

Follow the dress code if it is provided. Otherwise, remember to clarify it with your recruiter in advance. Take time to shop for at least two to three appropriate outfits for your internship and always pick those that make you feel comfortable and confident. Beyond your attire, keep in mind that your smile is your best accessory!

#5: Ask questions

No one expects you to know everything on your first day at work and asking questions is perfectly acceptable; it is also the best and fastest way to learn. When in doubt, don’t be afraid or shy to seek help from your colleagues and mentors. It exhibits your willingness to learn, critical thinking and interpersonal skills.

#6: Take notes

You are likely to be overloaded with information on the first day so bring along a pen and a notebook wherever you go. Taking notes help you organise your thoughts and ensures that you don’t miss out any pertinent information during briefings and discussions. It also shows your bosses that you take your work seriously and that you are eager to do your work well. While it is convenient, avoid taking notes on your mobile phone as it may be misunderstood that you are texting.

#7: Network, network, and network!

From the first day of your internship, meet and network with as many people as you can in the company. Take the initiative to start conversations with your colleagues or introduce yourself to someone new from another department. You will be amazed by the number of people that you can meet and learn from in the organisation. Try and keep in touch with the people you met after your internship ends as well.

#8: Be yourself

Be your true self at work so that you can create a genuine and memorable impression on others. At the same time, it is important to maintain professionalism while in the work environment. Keep in mind your strengths and establish your own personal brand in order stand out from the rest!

D.cisions is our quarterly magazine which provides undergraduates with tips, advice and success stories to help them take their first crucial step in making the right choice for themselves, in terms of choosing their employer - one where they will fit in and aligned to their values, interests and priorities.

Click here to download this issue: D.cisions issue 6.

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