Tips for the First Day of Your Internship

Updated: December 6, 2019

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so you want to well prepared for your first day at your new internship. To ensure you leave everyone wanting more, follow out tips below for a fabulous first day.

  • Dress to impress. Read up on how to dress appropriately for your first day on the job. Lay out your outfit the night before to ensure you don’t accidentally grab two mismatched socks or put on that shirt with a hole in the shoulder.
  • Plan ahead. Research your commute to ensure you can account for traffic and other delays. Check the location to the entrance to your building. If you have a really bad sense of direction, do a dry run the day before.
  • Write it down. Bring a notebook and a pen, and then write down as much as you can throughout the day. Names and titles are the most important, but you should also note relationships, who to go to with various questions, and general advice.
  • Sleep it off. Even if you’re nervous, get a good night’s sleep the night before. If you’re well rested, you’ll be more focused, more alert, and more cheerful.
  • Smile, nod, and listen. People read a lot into body language, so ensure that you listen carefully to others and project warmth and openness. Don’t interrupt or fidget, shake everyone’s hands, and make eye contact.
  • Take the initiative. Don’t wait for people to introduce themselves. Instead, take the initiative to walk up to people (but don’t interrupt if they’re on a call!) and say hello. Share your name and role, and offer to help out whenever they need it.
  • Ask questions. This is your first day, and it’s the best time to ask questions. From, “Where is the coffee?” to “What should be my first priority?” ask away. It shows that you want to fit in and succeed.
  • Keep your phone on silent. Don’t take personal calls, don’t text your buddies, and definitely don’t let your phone ring. Set your phone to “do not disturb” that morning—just be sure to tell your parents beforehand so they don’t think you for kidnapped en route to your internship.
  • Arrive early. Getting into the office 10 minutes early will show that you’re a go-getter. Staying a few minutes late will show that you’re committed.