#InternLife: How to Get the Most Out of Your First Day
You’ve submitted your resume, done the interviews, secured the internship and now it’s the first day of the job. Internships can be nerve-racking – and rightfully so. For some, an internship might be the first time you're working a job and putting the skills that you've learned in your college classes to work. Some may even worry if they will remember everything going back to your freshman year major classes.
Despite any jitters that come along with your first day, it has the potential to be one of the most informational and fruitful days of your entire internship. Here are a few tips that can make sure your first day isn’t just a day of nerves and tiptoeing around.
1. Show Up Early
You've heard this your entire life – probably from your parents, teachers and neighbors – but it takes a different meaning when it's your first day on the job. If you arrive early, you give yourself time to settle in and prepare yourself for what the day holds. You can sit in your car or in the lobby of the building just to collect your thoughts before you make your first entrance into your home away from home for the next couple of months. However, it's important to note that you should not arrive at the office well in advance of your scheduled arrival time as it could create problems for your supervisor and set schedule for the day.
2. Remember That You Don’t Have to Know Where You’re Going
When you open the door to the office or step off the elevator, unless you were interviewed on-site, you probably won't know where the human resources office is (and that's okay). On your first day, it's not expected of you to know where you're going. If you see a friendly face, take the time to introduce yourself and ask where you should head to get the day started. More likely than not, they'll be happy to show you because they were in your shoes on their first day too.
3. Don’t Eat Lunch At Your Desk
This is the first opportunity for you to meet some of your coworkers and talk to them in a non-work related conversation. Use this time to get to know the people you'll be working with hand-in-hand for the next several weeks. This time is your opportunity to make connections and build relationships with those that can potentially become a mentor or friendly face throughout the internship. You can also learn a lot about company culture during a short conversation over food.
4. Ask Questions
If you have a question, ask it! Not sure about how lunch works? Ask. Don’t know where the bathroom is? Ask. Can you wear jeans on Fridays? Ask. Don’t know how to lower your chair? Ask. There is no such thing as an off-limits question on your first day. Most people around you are fully aware that it’s your first day and they are more than happy to help you.
It can be scary walking through the doors on the first day of your new job, and those jitters are valid. However, instead of using that day to coast through the office, you could use this time as the opportunity to integrate yourself into the company culture. By showing up early, allowing yourself to find your way around the office, eating lunch with your new coworkers, and asking questions you can turn this opportunity into a reality.
Are you looking to gain professional experience at an agency that will offer you a collaborative and hands-on internship program? Sage Communications is an award-winning agency that represents Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations and startup companies from across the United States.
Consider applying to be a Sage-tern here: https://aboutsage.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=29
Erika Ortner is a Stafford, Virginia native and is a PR Assistant Account Coordinator at Sage Communications. She is a student at George Mason University and has managed communication plans for The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and the school’s communication department through courses during her education. She has also worked on communication projects with the Virginia National Guard Youth and Family Programs and Ebenezer United Methodist Church, along with others. In her free time she can be found volunteering with local organizations or singing with her church’s worship team.