How to Survive the First Few Days at Your Internship…

The first few days at your new internship will be both exciting and overwhelming. This is your time to get acclimated to the office, your coworkers, and your position. Here are some great tips to ensure that you get off on the right foot:


  • Meet with your supervisor– Find out his or her expectations of you, and gather more details about your position. Talk about what you hope to get out of the experience, and discuss things that you hope to accomplish. Work together to set goals and timelines, as well as a system for efficiently communicating the progress of your projects.
  • Make a good impression, and have a great attitude– Be polite to everyone (from the receptionist to the CEO). Show enthusiasm for the organization’s mission, and be happy to take on any task whether small or large. Pay attention to details when completing tasks, and thank people who take time to show you the ropes.
  •  Don’t be afraid to ask questions– People know that you are new to the organization, and they do not expect you to know how to do everything right off the bat. Ask for help when it is needed, and you will gain important knowledge from those employees who have more experience than you.
  • Do your research– Learn everything you can about the organization and their current affairs. Use the organization’s website, and ask for reading materials to help catch you up to speed.
  • Meet everyone in your department– Learn their names and positions. Find out something memorable about each person that you meet, and try to identify common ground– this will help them remember you.
  • Introduce yourself to everyone you meet– Don’t expect people to seek you out. Take the initiative to introduce yourself – these are key connections that will prove helpful to you down the road.
  • Find a “buddy”- This person can help answer general office questions that you might not want to bother your boss with – like how to load the printer with paper.
  • Determine the office dress code– Don’t rely on the written policy – be sure to look around to see what others (most importantly your boss) are wearing.
  • Limit personal work, especially the first week– You are taking part in this internship in order to gain professional experience and serve as an asset to your organization. Avoid using Facebook, shopping online, checking personal email, or sending text messages- be productive, and get things accomplished!
  • Keep a smile on your face, and HAVE FUN– Although you are interning to further yourself both academically and professionally there is no reason that you cannot enjoy yourself! Develop a true interest in what you work on each day. Realize that you are making an important impact on your organization, and take pride in your hard work. Embrace each new experience you have and take full advantage of the opportunities presented to you!

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