5 Things to Know Before Starting an Internship

After applying for a few internships, one has finally decided to invite you for an interview, and you got the job! This means time for celebration. While congratulations are in order and the feeling of euphoria is still coursing through your veins, you should remember that nothing beats preparation and doing so, properly, so that you are best prepared for this big leap. Getting an internship can open many doors as it relates to a career among other things. For some people, these are the things that help to decide how well we adapt to change. Luckily, with the five tips below, you will be better equipped to handle yourself before clocking in on your first day and give you some concrete employability skills that don’t require any extra vocational training or travel.

Get to work early

Under regular working standards, coming to work late is a bad habit. This means that it goes double for you as the intern, there are greater expectations on your desire to perform and act well. Getting to work on time will set the pace for the rest of the day and give you time to collect your nerves before starting. It can cause a serious problem knowing that you can come to work late “just because” you are the intern. To stay on the safe side, leave home a bit earlier than usual in case anything unexpected should happen. In this case, practice makes perfect. There are many things that can cause you to be late for an internship. You may be a matured-aged recruit who has a family of their own and of course, kids. You may need to consider spending extra money to invest in bringing in a household manager or even something as simple as a casual nanny to help alleviate some of that extra stress, in order for you to give your internship 100% of your undivided attention.

Know the office dress code

This one normally catches many people off guard because they either end up doing too much or maybe just too little. Remember that it is work and not a fashion show; depending on the internship and the company, of course. Every job has its own unique dress code and as the intern, you want to ensure that you are dressed appropriately. How would it look if you showed up at the office in a completely unnecessary, unacceptable and totally unneeded uniform? If you’re not sure about the dress code, just ask your supervisor and they will let you know.

Get to know the company

When it comes to this kind of research, you should have started from the moment you found out you got the job or even before that, during the application process. It is always good to have some basic knowledge of the company before walking into an interview. Start with the simple things like your immediate supervisor’s name, understanding office hierarchy and the mission statement/core values of the company. Now would be a good time to start if you have not done so already, as it will make your life at work much easier. There is nothing wrong with taking initiative, so visit the company websites and get caught up with their activities, reviews or testimonials and future-plans for the company and their employees.

Bring writing material

For the first day or two, you will be bombarded with lots of information. By this point, you are probably touring a different section of the office and learning more names on the way. Although we can agree that catching on quickly is good, there is no way to remember all the details. You may end up forgetting something important. Having a small notebook will alleviate the stress of having to remember everything off the brain. These notes will always be around so if there are any doubts you can always refer to your notes for clarification.

Prepare to learn from the experience

While it is okay to do your best in order to make the bosses happy, never forget that you are still an important part of the equation. What do you want to actually get out of undertaking this internship? Will it help you find your true calling? Will it help you realise that you don’t want any part of that specific industry? There are many ways to answer these questions, but the bottom line is that you should hold yourself accountable for how far you decide to go, and how much you choose to learn from the experience. Remember, you don’t always need to see these things through. Internships are not for everybody, so know when you have had enough and when you are ready to take on more responsibility.

Generally speaking, internships have a unique way of moulding you as an individual, while guiding you. All that is expected, is that you show up on time and be ready to learn as much you can from the experience.

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