It’s November, which means summer internship season is upon us! Internships are a fantastic opportunity to complete exciting projects, build enduring connections and test the waters of the working world. We know it’s a lot to take in, so here’s our student survival guide to help you shine during the first week of the internship.
Get to know your team
Entering a new work environment can be overwhelming. In the first day or two, try to introduce yourself to the team you will be working with and make the effort to learn more about them. Try your best to remember their names, and ensure you are pronouncing them correctly – they will appreciate the effort, and the onboarding process will be far less daunting if you are surrounded by familiar and friendly faces. Plus, you will know exactly who to turn to when you need help in a particular department!
During your first week, you may encounter a common internship phenomenon – information overload! To keep your tasks and learnings organised, take along a notebook and record what you are learning in a way that makes sense to you (here’s a handy article for more about this!). In the flurry of the introductions and tutorials you never know what will slip your mind, and it is best to avoid missing a task you have been introduced to. It’s great to take initiative, but don’t be afraid to ask questions (it’s a good practice to write these down too, so you don’t have to rack your brains later on) – you aren’t expected to know everything, and asking is the best way to ensure you do the job correctly in the future.
Presentation is key
It’s a great idea to arrive 10-15 minutes early to your first day, and continue to arrive on-time to the workday and any meetings you may have. If you are working remotely, test your video platform before a meeting – this way you can avoid any technical difficulties before it starts. Keep your workspace organised, and dress appropriately for the environment of the workplace – both will reflect a can-do, will-do-well attitude!
If frequent meetings haven’t already been planned, organise regular one-to-ones with your mentor or supervisor during the first week. This way, you can get thorough feedback, learn what aspects of your performance can be improved and what you are acing – it’ll be a reassurance for both of you to discuss how you are progressing. Most importantly, let your mentor know if you are struggling or in need of support during the first week. It’s best to avoid a task pile-up, and they will likely know the best ways to help you get back on your feet.
Most importantly, keep an open mind and move forward with the best attitude you can. You may stumble a little along the way, but maintaining an eager disposition is the best way to show that you are willing to learn from your mistakes. And hang in there – the first week only happens once!
For more tips on how to put an end to newbie nerves during the first week of the internship, we’ve put together another guide here. If you feel like you need a little extra support from a real human, you can always reach out to us at Summer of Tech.