You landed a new internship, you revamped your resume, nailed your interview and picked out the perfect outfit for your first day. That, believe it or not, was the easy part.
The hard part starts when you walk into the office for the first time. Who should you talk to? How should you act? What should you do?
Internships are one of the best ways to network, but how can you set yourself apart in an office full of new interns? Standing out (for good reasons, not bad ones) may be the reason you get a job at the end of the semester.
Making a lasting first impression is key. This doesn’t mean you want to show up with your hair dyed neon pink or with twelve dozen donuts in tow–something as small as being early instead of on time will let your supervisor know you’re serious about work. You should also come prepared. Bring extra pens and pencils and a notebook to take notes. Who knows if any supplies are left at your intern desk so it’s better to be safe than stuck without a pen for whole day.
Once you’re settled in to the environment, spend time during the first week getting to know the people in your office, especially cozying up to your supervisor. He or she is your key to the company, the link between you and the other employees, and if you have a good relationship you’re more likely to get a great recommendation at the end of the semester.
Aside from your supervisor, talk to the people who sit around you, it’s a great way to get insight to what different people in the company do. You may even get special assignments from them, but hopefully it’s not cleaning out the storage room.
It’s also worth your time introducing yourself to some of the higher ups in your company. Not that you should go e-mailing the President or CEO on your first day, and certainly don’t butt dial them at an inapropriate time, but walk around to your supervisor’s bosses and introduce yourself. Tell them that you’re (insert name)’s intern and if they need anything, do not to hesitate to ask.
Lastly, get to know your fellow interns. This is a new experience for all of you and it’s nice being able to talk to people who are in the same boat you are.
On second thought, maybe those donuts could be a good way to make a good first impression. Get to their hearts through their stomachs.