The Intern: How To Prepare For Your First Day

If you are anything like me, your work placement will not start for a few days or even weeks, but that little voice in your head will be telling you to prepare and you will do so by desperately searching the web for any advice on how to prepare and what to expect on your first day. To all of you, it will be fine. Obviously, you are not going to take my word for it, but I suggest you keep reading for a few helpful survival tips – at least it will calm your nerves.

  • Research
    At this point you should have done some research on WHO you will be working with and exactly what they do, if you have not done so previously, I strongly suggest squeezing in a little bit of research. Maybe you will even pick up a few facts to woo them with on your first day – it cannot hurt.
  • Travel
    Travel plans are essential to sort out as early as possible; it will give you peace of mind the night before. If you have the funds and opportunity, I suggest you do a practice run so you know how it works before your first day.
  • Dress code
    The timeless ‘what do I wear question’ is what made me have a complete meltdown before I started, and I am here to stop you from experiencing the same. Really, it is very simple –dress according to the company dress code, if you have not been informed of one I strongly suggest you dress conservatively for your first day.  Personally, I would dress in ‘business formal’ even if the dress code is ‘business casual’ as you do not know their interpretation of these dress codes and a plain skirt/trousers and a plane top-blazer combo or a blouse is such a safe bet. Obviously, if you are male you can never go wrong with a suit. Remember; you are not dressing to suit your personality – you are essentially putting on a uniform.
  • Relax
    Follow any instructions your employer has given you beforehand and email/phone them with ANY questions you might have. There really are no stupid questions in this case, you have NEVER done this before and have no way of knowing what to do. Even more importantly; remember to relax and breathe. Spend the evening before you start your placement doing something you love, like get Chinese takeaway and rent a movie. Get a good night sleep and put your smile on in the morning, your employer will not be expecting miracles, but will be expecting enthusiasm and a ‘can do attitude’.

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