The semester has wrapped up. High school and college aged students all around the country are getting ready to begin their internships. Whether you’re interning locally or in a metropolitan area such as Washington, D.C., summer internships can be exhilarating. For some, this is the moment you have been waiting for since you were small. It’s important to be sure that you have everything necessary to succeed and stand out to your employer and coworkers. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of getting ready, it’s easy to forget some basics. Adding these items to your list will make your first day a lot easier.

Comfortable and professional shoes

For me, nude heels are the go-to. I can wear them with black suits, navy suits, grey suits, and even tan suits. They look professional, classy, and go with almost everything. They are a staple in every young professional’s wardrobe. If you know you’re going to do a lot of standing or walking, you may opt for nude or black flats instead. Whatever it is, make sure they are close toed and comfortable to wear for several hours at a time. You never know where the day may take you.

The perfect planner

Everyone looks for different qualities in a good planner, so the key is to find one that fits your personality and professional needs. I look for ones with a daily schedule and room for several different lists. Maybe the week by week view works for you. Don’t just buy one, make sure you use it to its fullest extent as well! The planner will be essential to ensuring that you never miss a meeting or special event that you’re expected to attend.

A reliable professional bag

Generally, like with heels, neutral colors are best to stick to because they go with every outfit. Bags could also provide the pop of color in an otherwise neutral outfit too. Finding a bag that has a professional and polished look but can still hold all of the necessities is important. This will be the one thing you grab every morning and rely on throughout the entire day. Investing in a nicer back that is top quality could certainly pay off in the end.

Lightweight blouses

It can get hot very easily in the summertime, so it’s important to have plenty of professional yet cool blouses. You never know when you’ll be sent on errands, or if you’re working in a place like D.C., when you’ll have to make trips to the Capitol, which means walking in the heat. Sticking with a lighter material will allow you to be cool and professional. You can even pair a sleeveless blouse with a suit jacket in order to keep the professional look.

An on-the-go beauty bag

We all want our makeup to stay photo perfect throughout the day, but when you’re a working girl, it’s hard to ensure that your hair and makeup won’t get a little messed up. I always carry a small cosmetic bag with me that usually includes at least comb, perfume, some hair-ties, a compact mirror concealer, matte pressed powder, mascara, and some lipstick. If you wear contacts, having a contact case and some solution or eye drops is not a bad idea either. That way no matter what gets thrown at you or where you end up, you can always look your best.

A trustworthy watch

Internships are sure to include crazy eventful days, so it’s important to have a watch that is reliable and you know works well. Some people opt for more fashionable watches, and some opt for more functional watches that double as fitness trackers. Make sure that it has a fresh battery or is charged, and you know how to use it. You wouldn’t want to be late for an important meeting.

Notebook and pens

As an intern, it’s reasonable to expect to be sent to meetings or even congressional hearings. No matter where your supervisor sends you, it’s important to always have a notebook and pens handy so you can take notes on a whim. Often times they rely on you to report reliable information back to them, so you don’t want to get stuck being unprepared and unable to help. Smaller ones can be more functional, as they fit in bags and purses easier.

To-go coffee mug

Early mornings and long days means a strong cup of coffee will be essential to surviving. Unfortunately, you may not always have time to drink as much coffee as you need in the mornings before you leave, which means you need to be prepared to bring it with you on the go. Have a sturdy coffee mug will be the key to surviving a long summer. Finding one with a cute saying can brighten your morning even more.

A positive attitude

Quite possibly the most important necessity during summer internships is a positive attitude. No matter where you’re interning or what city you’re living in, you’re sure to encounter very long and very busy days. Going into the summer with a positive attitude will contribute even further to this being the most rewarding experience of your entire life. Not only that, but your co-workers and supervisors notice the positive attitude. It will make your job more enjoyable for everyone and will certainly help when you go back for references and recommendations later on.

Emily W
FFL Cabinet
Emily is an aspiring Elle Woods with a hint of Nancy Reagan. Searching for cute dogs on instagram is only a side hobby to politics. When she's not teaching people about conservatism in Starbucks, you can catch her meeting princesses at Disney or binge watching Gilmore Girls and The West Wing for the millionth time.

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