You've Accepted the Internship Offer, Now What?
Congratulations to you, your hard work has paid off. You have officially accepted an offer, reported it to ECS, and are ready to soak in this new opportunity! Now that you have settled back into the normal routine from time spent interviewing or maybe even traveling to your future internship site, you may be thinking “what are my next steps”? If you are looking to get the most out of your experience, consider the following 4 checklist items prior to your first day!
1. Map out the logistics
Learn the commute. Map out the best route to your new position and if possible, practice the commute if you plan to drive to your new location. Practicing the drive around the same time you would plan to leave will get you familiar with the traffic patterns especially if you are commuting within the city. If you are going to be using another means of transportation, mapping out where the nearest bus/train station is and how long the route will be, will allow you to start your first day on the right foot.
*Pro-tip: You may find within your first couple weeks that there are opportunities to carpool with other interns that live in the area. Carpooling is a great way to build relationships with your co-workers and can save you a little money too!
Know the dress code. It is important to know the company dress code. If you are not sure, it is always best to dress conservatively on the first day and then adjust to causal if you learn that is the company norm. Review the employee handbook or reach out to your point of contact to confirm the proper dress code if it was not discussed previously.
2. Continue to do your research
On top of what you already know from the research you prepared before your interview, continue to learn about the company. Follow the company’s social media accounts to keep up on the company’s latest news headlines. Striking up conversation about a recent project or expansion of the company creates a positive first impression. Checking the company’s website also has its benefits, like reading staff profiles to better personalize your conversations or reviewing customer feedback to understand the company’s products or services.
Although doing your research can help you better understand the company, don’t expect yourself to know everything from the start. It is important to not put too much pressure on yourself to know everything about the company.
3. Ask questions
As you find yourself a few months/weeks away from your first day, you most likely will generate more questions. Maybe you have questions about what is expected from you after reviewing the job description further, or maybe you are not sure what materials you need to bring with you (i.e. identification forms, etc). Prepare your questions and be sure to ask them on your first day. If you need clarity before arriving for your first day, brainstorm several questions to ask in an email to whomever you have been in communication with.
4. Reflect on your goals
Reflection and goal setting are integral parts in maximizing your experience. As you become aware of your goals, it helps you stay motivated and gain more clarity on the next steps in your career. Start by asking yourself what your strengths are and some challenges you face. Most importantly, what are you hoping to gain from your experience? Once you identify these, try to focus on them during your internship. If you are looking for a place to start as you prepare goals for yourself, consider creating SMART goals. Following this method allows you to narrow down what you want to do and how you are going to get there.
*Pro-tip: Keep track of your accomplishments throughout your internship. Your time there can go quickly and you will want a record of your achievements for updating your resume later.
Don’t forget to relax and be yourself! It is only natural to be a little nervous before starting a new position. Rest assured, if you put forth the effort to prepare yourself, you are bound to walk away with new skill sets and perspectives that will play a significant role in your developing career!
“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.