Important Research To Do Before You Start Your Internship
Just because you finally landed your dream internship, doesn’t mean your hard work is over! In fact, it’s just getting started! As you face the daunting reality of your first day as an intern, being prepared will make it as painless as possible.
Your first day at a new internship can be much like the first day at new school. Will people like me? Will I have anyone to sit with at lunch? Will I make any friends? Anxieties about your performance and your acceptance into “the group” can seem overwhelming, but being prepared will make it easier and less scary!
Coming into your internship with knowledge of the company and the people that work there will impress your employer and make for a smooth transition onto a team or account group. It’s important that you get started on the right foot, as it will set a positive tone for the rest of your internship.
Being prepared and doing your research before you start your internship will save you time and energy when the time comes for you to complete your first assignment. So before you head out the door for your first day at the office, here are some things to do ahead of time.
Know the company background and basics
That minimal research you did for your interview will no longer cut it on your first day as an intern! No doubt you will be introduced to countless company policies and countless new people on your first day, so try your best to learn about them before that first day comes. Research the company history so you have a bit of background knowledge on when it was created, how its products or clients have evolved and what successful campaigns they have had in the past.
Researching the basics will show that you are dedicated to the company and have a genuine interest in getting to know the people in it. Your knowledge will shine through on your first day when you understand the company’s mission and office hierarchy before it’s even told to you!
Familiarize yourself with the company’s online presence
Being the knowledgeable PR woman that you are, you know that nothing is more important than a company’s online presence in this day and age. Browse the company’s website and Google the company name so you are constantly up-to-date on the latest news regarding the company. Start following the company on all of their social media channels so you can learn the company culture and get a glimpse into the inside happenings of the company before you are thrown into the mix.
Know the office dress code
What better excuse to go shopping than for new outfits for your internship? Every office has it’s own dress code, so make sure you understand exactly what that is. At a boutique creative agency, it’s probably more casual, while at a corporate office, business dress is probably the route to go. When in doubt, err on the side of caution. It’s always better ot be over dressed than under dressed! And don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor ahead of time!
Get your paperwork in order (and read it, too)
Most internships will send you paperwork before your start date, so take the time to sit down in a quiet place, read through it and complete it to send back to your employer as quick as possible. You never know what company policy will come into play during your internship, so it’s important that you actually read all of the documents, not just sign them!
Your first day at an internship will be a lot about procedure and figuring out your surroundings, so be prepared to fill out a lot of paperwork. Make sure you bring all of your important documents with you on your first day including your driver’s license, social security number, etc.
If you’re receiving college credit for your internship, make sure to tackle that paperwork and get it to your supervisor well ahead of the deadline so they have adequate time to complete it and send it back to your school advisor before your internship starts.
Plan out your commute
A little test drive never hurt anybody! Route out your commute ahead of time so you know where you’re going and how long it takes to get there. It would be hard to find something that would be worse than getting lost and arriving late on your first day at your internship! Don’t forget to take rush hour traffic into account, too!
Photo courtesy of: Levo League (www.levoleague.com)