Congrats! If you’re here it’s because you want to get off to a great start in your internship, and we’re all for it.
Here, at Jump Recruits, we encourage students to see their Internship as an interview for a full-time position and to keep in mind they are being evaluated continuously.
As an intern, I’m sure that one of your main concerns is making a good first impression in your new company, and to win over your supervisors.
According to Psychology Today “People tend to get attached to their initial impressions of others and find it very difficult to change their opinion, even when presented with lots of evidence to the contrary (…) As a result, it’s important to be aware of how one comes across to others during a first meeting.”
So, clearly, the sooner you have a positive interaction with your manager, the better.
If you know who your manager will be, or you’re able to find out, don’t hesitate to reach out. Connecting with your manager before you start working might seem like an extra step to some people, but it will pay off helping you feel comfortable and ready to work from the get-go.
Besides, by taking the initiative you’ll take control over the situation and have the opportunity to present yourself how you want to be perceived.
Send an email
This email should be more than the basic thank you note. Show how eager you are to start, and maybe even a little information about your background and your expectations regarding the internship.
It doesn’t have to be long, but be smart about it. You can use this email to convey appreciation, interest, and humility. And who wouldn’t want to work with someone who shows those qualities?
Set up a call
As good as a heartfelt email can be, the truth is people only share certain details and insights IRL, or in a more personal channel of communication like a call or video chat.
Therefore, if you want to set the tone for a synergetic work relationship, go for it and invite your manager to set up a quick call to discuss your role.
The best part of doing so is that there won’t be any awkwardness on the first day of work because you’ll already know this person. Now you’ll have a good advantage on establishing open communication.
Why is this so important? Communication will be key to understanding your job, adding value, completing your tasks, and receiving feedback.
Learn about the company, the position, and their expectations so that you come in on day 1 ready!
Plan your first day/week on the internship
Taking into account your research about the company and what your manager told you in the previous communication, plan your first day/week.
You don’t want to be running late, having personal issues distracting you from work, or setting a sloppy tone for the rest of your internship.
We all know it’s better to leave home earlier than you think you need to, so you can arrive in places fresh as a cucumber.
You could even use some of those extra minutes to get to know the rest of the team and network.
Of course, even if you’re a terrific planner, you should expect the unexpected. Things won’t go as planned all the time and that’s okay.
But in the general run of things you’ll see that having a defined structure will make your life easier, allow you to focus on your internship, and learn all the valuable lessons this opportunity can provide for you.
During your internship, you’ll be acquiring the work experience and industry knowledge employers are looking for, so make sure to make the best of it, even before day one. Like musician Leo Kottke said, “the more you put in the more you get out”.
In the next couple of articles we’ll discuss how to get clarifications and project manage your work, so don’t miss out.
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