Surviving the First Day of Your Internship

Here are some ways to seize the opportunity to make a good impression on the first day of your internship!
Anne Grace Savitha
Writer, gradsingapore

It’s the moment you’ve been looking forward to – starting your internship with gusto! Are you excited about your new role yet nervous about adapting to the workplace? Fret not, follow these pointers for a smooth Day One.

1. Dress well

Legendary costume designer, Edith Head, once said, “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” What you wear on your first day of internship is important as it makes up the image your colleagues will form of you.

Take pride in your appearance at work as it reveals the attitude you are bringing to your work tasks and assignments.

If you’re unsure about the dress code of your workplace, it is always safe to dress more formally on your first day. Neutral colours count towards a professional image. Most importantly you must feel comfortable and confident in your attire.

2. Pay attention to briefings

Most companies provide an orientation for employees and interns at the very beginning. The induction includes information on your job role, the rules and regulations of the company, and the company’s policies.

Listen intently and jot down important notes such as contact details, useful key facts and other relevant information for yourself.

3. Get to know your colleagues

You cannot survive the workplace without getting to know your colleagues well. They will be the ones sharing both delightful and sad moments with you at work, as part of your project and assignment teams.

Get to know each of them by name, and identify those whom you will be working with most closely or requiring their help for crucial needs. Usually, your colleagues will want to engage you more during lunch, so say yes to having lunch together!

4. Mastering the systems

Some companies might have their own database system or own application for day-to-day work. You have to navigate these systems and applications. When your colleagues are explaining on how to use it, take notes so that you can make references in future.

That said, don’t hesitate to ask for help if you are unsure or have any burning questions. Besides these practical tips, don’t forget about observing workplace etiquette such as arriving on time and minimising your distractions at work. Good luck and put your best foot forward as an intern newbie!