Surviving Your First Day as an Intern

Congratulations on landing your dream internship! Here are some ways to seize the opportunity to make a good impression on your first day there.
Jasmine Mun_Writer_gradmalaysia_round
Jasmine Mun
Writer, gradmalaysia
Surviving Your First Day as an Intern_mainphoto

You’ve got the call-back after the interview, and the voice over the phone told you to come and report for your first day as an intern next week. You’re excited, obviously, but you’re also nervous at the same time. How would you adapt to this new experience for the first time in your life?

Dress Well

What you wear on the first day of your internship is important as it contributes to the image your colleagues will form of you. Be it business casual or formal, dress neatly so feel confident and comfortable at work. It also inadvertently reveals the attitude you are bringing to your work tasks and assignments.

One useful tip though:

It’s always safe to dress more formally on your first day at work. Remember to clarify your dress code with your recruiter in advance.

Pay Attention to Briefings

Briefings are usually done during your orientation – office tour, company policies and procedures will be explained to you during this process. Listen carefully and jot down important notes, especially contact details and other relevant information for yourself.

Get to Know Your Colleagues

Surviving the workplace requires you to be on good terms with your colleagues, so knowing them by their names and identifying those whom you’ll be working closely with is a rule of thumb. Usually, they will want to engage with you more during lunch breaks, so take advantage of those times to get to know your co-workers!

Learn the Systems

Your employer will have their own database systems or applications for day-to-day work, so do your best to learn how to navigate through those as quickly as possible. Be alert and take notes for future reference while your colleagues are showing you the ropes, and make sure you find out whom to turn to if you run into issues later on.

One useful tip though:

No one expects you to know everything on your first day at work and asking questions is perfectly acceptable; it is also the best and fastest way to learn.

Last But Not Least

While you should do your best to think on your feet and learn new things fast, it’s always important to also be your true self at work so that you can create a genuine and memorable impression on others. Keep in mind your strengths and establish your own personal brand in order to stand out from the rest!

Also, don’t forget to observe the workplace etiquette such as arriving to work on time and eliminating distractions at work. Good luck, and put your best foot forward as an intern!