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Summer jobs and internships are soon upon us. We’re all panicking about how to make the best first impression possible. Whether this is your first internship or your fourth, every internship is different but a few keys rules apply across the board. Here are five things to do on the first day of your internship to ensure success all summer long.
1) Overdress instead of under dress
Most offices are business casual, but that doesn’t keep us from panicking and putting on impromptu fashion shows the night before. What color blazer? Is this dress long enough? Is this necklace too much? A rule I’ve learned from many successful interns, and their bosses, is too always overdress on the first day. You’ll look extremely professional, and there is nothing wrong with that. After the first day, you can figure out what everyone else in the office wears regularly and match their style.
2) Bring the bare essentials
Whether you’re driving, taking the subway or walking, you don’t want to lug all of your earthly possessions into the office to find out that you don’t have a full desk or you don’t need half of the stuff. Instead, bring the bare essentials on your first day, only the stuff you cannot live without, and scope out the office and the situation the first day to determine if you need that jar of pens, the special coffee mug or the wall calendar. No one will fault you for packing light the first day, and you’ll look like you have your life together as opposed to stumbling in with an overflowing bag that makes you look lost and over-packed.
3) Wear comfortable shoes
Even if you think you’re going to be working a desk job, you never know what your orientation will involve. Odds are, you’ll get a dozen tours of the office on the first day, and you don’t want to be wobbling around in uncomfortable heels or flats that you haven’t broken in yet. Stick to shoes that you can trust on the first day and you’ll be thankful all day long. After you know what to expect you can get a bit more adventurous with your shoe choices.
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4) Bring something to write on and with
There is nothing worse than showing up to your orientation meeting empty handed. You should always, everywhere, have a pad of paper and a pen in case of emergency, but this applies especially on your first day. You may need to write down numbers, passwords, assignments, or directions, and you don’t want to be the intern that has to plug everything into their phone or write it on the back of their hands. A simple notebook or notepad and a reliable pen will save the day.
5) Be flexible and open-minded
It is your first day, and first days set the tone for the rest of the internship. Be open-minded and willing to do whatever is necessary. You may end up making a coffee run, or sitting in on a meeting, or shadowing another worker. Be willing and ready to go, and you’ll go far in the internship. Being flexible will make you indispensable, and starting off on the right foot is the best way to make sure everyone knows how flexible you are.