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Shawna Scott - 7/2/2019

Starting an internship should be exciting, but it shouldn’t be scary! With these steps, you can ensure you feel prepared and confident to take on this new challenge.

  1. If you’re a student, talk to your college advisor or a professor in your major, or make an appointment at your university’s career center. Find out what paperwork, reports, etc. you’ll need to have beforehand – or get afterwards – to earn academic credit for your internship.
  2. What’s the dress code? Will you need to wear a tie every day? Buy steel-toed workboots? Get another suitjacket to have enough outfits for a whole week? Hit the mall (or the thrift store) to make sure you have the basics.
  3. Set some personal goals. What do YOU want to get out of this opportunity? A few days before your internship, take 5 or 10 minutes to write down some objectives, and review your list periodically during the internship to stay on track.
  4. Do you have a LinkedIn page? If not, now is a great time to make one! It’ll come in handy when you start networking with business professionals in your field.
  5. Get yourself some business cards. At places like Staples, you can buy a set of custom cards for as little as $10. Design your cards online with your contact info, get them printed, and keep them in your purse or wallet to hand out to people you meet on the job.
  6. Do your homework! Hop onto your employer’s website and read about their history, culture, mission statement and any other interesting tidbits of info you find. You’ll make a good impression on your supervisors if you’re already aware of the company’s background. Plus, it’ll help you feel more at home in your internship much sooner.
  7. Similar to #6, make sure to actually read any materials your employer provided you with beforehand. You might not remember everything if there’s a lot to cover, but you’ll have a general idea of what they want you to keep in mind as you go into orientation.

Preparation is the key to helping ward off those pesky stomach butterflies and starting your internship on the right foot. You will still probably hit a learning curve, but that’s okay! If you remember to breathe, smile, and keep a can-do attitude, before you know it you’ll be feeling right at home in your new work environment.