Preparing for your internship

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Overview

Preparing for an internship?

By Mohammed Abumahlula; Have an internship starting soon? Congratulations, you have placed yourself on the career ladder and are ready to start gaining experience in your career of choice. Feeling nervous and do not know how to prepare for your first day? Don’t worry, we have prepared a list of ideas on how to best prepare for your internship.

The business

Research your company and what they do. Furthermore, learn about the roles of the employees where possible. You may use LinkedIn, articles and other sources to learn more about the employees and their departments. You can research the clients and business partners that your company may have too. Doing all this research will help to make a great first impression when you settle into your internship.

Make sure you know the dress code of your workplace. You will want to try and fit in by wearing the expected clothing, if you wear casual clothing in an environment where everybody is wearing a suit then this can make you feel uncomfortable and negatively influence the perceptions of colleagues towards you.

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The skills

It may be worth practicing your Microsoft Office skills, particularly if you are working in an office role. If you have seen a lot of job adverts, you may notice many demand some degree of proficiency in using Microsoft Office programmes such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint. There will be many opportunities in work where someone may need help with using the software, so having the opportunity to help them will provide a good impression. It is better to be helping than always asking questions on how to use Microsoft Office software; therefore you will be perceived as a reliable individual when people begin to turn to you for help.

Familiarise yourself with the vocabulary relating to your sector. It will make you look professional and dependable when you demonstrate a deeper level of understanding for your sector. You will find it easier to follow conversations and meetings, eliminating the need to ask too many questions. Being able to keep up with discussions will help you stand out as an intern. Additionally, you will be developing your skill in the sector by understanding key terminology.

Be organised

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Make sure to research your commute. You need to have a good idea on what time you need to leave your home by in order to arrive to work in time. Sometimes trains and buses are disrupted, so you may need to check for information on delays and cancellations to avoid running late. You can practice your travel journey before your first day to familiarise yourself with your journey to the workplace. Arriving late won’t look good, but arriving late on the first day will negatively impact their first impression of you. Being punctual will help to impress the company.

Don’t forget to bring a notebook to write notes as you will likely be bombarded with too much information that you won’t be able to organise it into your mind effectively. This will help you to summarise key information and understand your responsibilities, work practices and the organisation better. If your manager or colleagues have to keep repeating information, it will look bad.

Most important of all, make sure you are excited and looking forward to your new internship experience. You will want to enjoy your role not dread it. If you are able to always look forward to work, then you will have a great time. You can use this opportunity to network and find leads on potential new businesses for employment or impress everyone around you enough that they will want you to become a permanent member of staff. Showing your commitment and enthusiasm for your intern role will provide you with the advantage.