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6 tips to start your internship right

Within the first few minutes of stepping into the new office, you will show your boss and colleagues what they should expect in the next coming months. It only takes a few seconds, but once you’ve made a first impression it’s hard to change it. Make sure you portray yourself with confidence and in a friendly, professional manner! Here are some fail-proof ways to make sure people will look forward to working with you.

1. Show up early – Arrive to work 10 minutes early to get settled before the day begins. This shows that you’re conscientious and want to improve not only personally, but help the company move forward as well. It also gives you time to sort out menial things that would take up the first few minutes of your working day. This way you can feel organized and on top of your tasks so you are ready to perform your best.

2. Have the right attitude – This may seem like an obvious point, but arriving at your internship with a positive attitude can make all the difference. Be enthusiastic about tasks you are given and be friendly to people you work with. A positive attitude will make people want to work with you and they will value having you around. This is vital if you’re looking to make professional contacts to help you later in your career.

3. Take initiative on projects – If you think you can contribute good ideas to a project, do it! There is no need to be shy. If someone needs you to do something, always say yes with a smile. Also-be sure to ask people if they need something done. Don’t wait around for someone to ask you. Be proactive. People will value your hardworking attitude and it shows that you take an interest in your work. It also shows people that you might be fit to work there full-time someday.

Similarly, remember you have a lot to learn and sometimes your colleagues can teach you important tricks of the trade. There are some things that only come from having past experience in a certain industry. Also, know that it’s okay to make mistakes. You’re an intern! This means you are just getting started in your career and have a lot to learn. When you make mistakes, focus on how you can fix them instead of panicking.

4. Dress appropriately – Dressing appropriately for your internship is the basics of being taken seriously as a professional. Its shows you’re serious about your work and gives a good first impression. For boys this means a suit with a smart shirt, and for girls this means a nice blouse with either a smart skirt or trousers.

5. Be confident in introductions – This is the first time you’ll meet your colleagues and it’s the perfect opportunity to ensure that you leave a positive, lasting impression. Things like a firm handshake can show that you’re a confident, hardworking person. Also make an effort to remember the names of your colleagues. You don’t want to ask people multiple times to re-introduce themselves as this will give the impression that you don’t listen or aren’t interested.

6. Do some research – Finally, before you arrive for your first day make sure you’ve done your research about the company. This will help you settle in quickly as you will understand projects better and feel more informed about the industry as a whole.


Photo 1. based on, by Verne Ho, CC0

Photos and blog by Abbie Hammond

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!