Congrats, you got the internship! But now you’re probably wondering how you can get ready for Day 1 and make a great first impression. With 56% of interns converting into full-time employees, making sure you’re ready for your internship is a critical first step to getting hired and can set you apart from your cohort of fellow interns. This article will outline five tips you can use to prepare for and excel in your internship.
Learn Your Industry and Business
In advance of your internship, it is important to spend time researching your future employer and their industry as a whole. Setting aside half an hour a week for research when you are two months out from your internship can dramatically improve your understanding of the company’s core business. Instead of spending time confused on the job, you can start the internship with a rich understanding of what to expect. Moreover, you will likely have a functional understanding of how you can help the company stay competitive and plan for the future. Doing your research can also greatly benefit you by impressing your supervisor, who may then assign you to the more difficult projects, where you can showcase your talent.
Learning your industry and business will help you prove your value and increase the chances of being brought on full time. This is also an opportune time to brush up on your professionalism and refine your writing. Excellent sources to review when preparing for your internship include trade magazines, your company’s website and press releases, and your competitors.
Contact your supervisor
Once you are offered your internship you may be assigned to a supervisor. This is an excellent opportunity to reach out and establish a strong working relationship early. Connect with your new boss on LinkedIn and reach out via email. Introduce yourself and start to get an understanding of what to expect on Day 1. Great topics to ask about include how they prefer to communicate and their working style.
You also have a chance to reach out to the HR department and the internship program managers. It is important to have the correct information ready, such as Social Security Number, ID, and direct deposit account. You can also learn about the dress code and any other industry-specific guidelines that may be important. Make sure you get a great start to your internship by connecting in advance.
Reach Out to Your Fellow Interns
Whether you work for a company that is big, small, or somewhere in the middle, networking is one thing every intern should do. Not only is it a chance to make new friends, but there will also likely be a time in the future when you can call on them to help with a project. Additionally, curating a productive relationship early can help you even after your internship is over. Feel free to reach out via social media!
If your company uses Symba, make sure you fill out your profile early and check out your fellow interns. Symba’s community feature lets you get an inside view of where your fellow interns are from, their hobbies, and their areas of expertise. Contacting your fellow interns early helps build beneficial relationships for years to come.
Test Out Your Tech
Depending on your employer, a computer may be provided for your internship. It is important to clarify if you are receiving a computer well in advance of your start date. In the case where a computer is provided, make sure you set aside some time to ensure that the computer is set up properly and is ready for your first day of work. This is also an excellent opportunity to refresh yourself on the software you will be using. Even if you feel technologically savvy it is still important to test the provided technology as it can be a different version from what you are accustomed to. Companies like SkillShare and Coursera provide a wide variety of training videos for free.
If you are using a personal computer for your internship, it is important to reach out to both your future intern manager and the IT department to determine that you have all appropriate software and depending on your internship, ensure that your computer has the necessary computing capabilities. You may also have to submit a report detailing your computer’s and WiFi security protocols; however, this is a somewhat rare occurrence for most internships. Finally, make sure you have a stable connection to the internet with speeds of at least 25 Mbps and a webcam if it is necessary for your program. By double-checking your technological capacity before your first day, you help ensure that the first few days on the job are stress-free from tech woes.
Relax (Focus on the Soft Side of Internships)
There can be a lot of pressure to make a great first impression, especially if this is your first internship. But do not worry, it is important to be relaxed and calm. The fact is, you will be surprised at how much you actually know and can contribute to the job. It is natural to be anxious about your first day at a new internship; however, remember you were hired for a reason. Even so, you were likely picked out of a pool of hundreds of candidates. The interviewers selected you because they believed you were the best for the job; all you have to do is display the same passion, dedication, and personality that you had during the interviewing process. You will make mistakes and that is ok, even expected. Make sure you build relationships with your new colleagues and put forward your best effort.
For more information on how to thrive at your remote internship, sign up for Symba’s intern community and receive our newsletter with internship resources.