The first day of anything new is always scary and nerve-racking, whether it’s the first day of school, a new job or an internship. You don’t know what to expect and are thrown into a new place where everyone knows everyone; except you. On top of it all, you’re nervous about living up to everyone’s expectations.
I started my internship at Imerman Angels exactly two weeks ago. Imerman Angels is a not-for-profit organization that provides one-on-one support to cancer fighters, caregivers and survivors. I had spent the previous two months learning all about the organization, but when my first day finally arrived, my research was unnecessary. Here’s what to expect.
Nerves. Nerves are expected, but there are many ways that you can keep them to a minimum. Know where you need to go, what time you need to be there and leave enough time for travel whether you’re driving, walking or using public transportation. Also, leave enough time to collect yourself before you go in so that you aren’t a nervous wreck for your first impression.
Bring your planner. Depending on the company or organization you might plan out your schedule before your first day, but if not make sure to bring a planner. You may not work Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. so have an idea of what days or times work best for you. This is also a good time to bring up any dates that you cannot work.
Tours and Introductions. Most of your first day will be spent getting acquainted with the office and everyone who works there. Your supervisor will show you where you’ll be working and introduce you to everyone you’ll be working with. This is a good time to ask any questions you may have about the dress code, the office or what to expect on a typical day.
Dress Appropriately. You don’t want to be underdressed but it can also be just as uncomfortable to be overdressed. I recommend business casual, but it can also depend on where you will be working. If you are a girl and are unsure about what shoes to wear, bring flats and stick a pair of heels in your bag and wait to see what other women are wearing. Also, make sure to also dress appropriately for the weather; it may be hot outside but inside they might have the air conditioner blasting so bringing a sweater or jacket might be a good idea.
Snacks and Drinks. For my first day I didn’t know how long I would be there; I could have been only doing introductions and figuring out my schedule or possibly working a full day. If you are unaware of how long you will be there, make sure to bring something to drink and a quick snack in case you happen to be there longer than expected.
First days can be scary, but remember there’s only one first day! Once you know what to expect and what is expected of you, the next days, weeks and months will continue to get easier.
-Allison Rumsas is a junior strategic communications major with a Spanish minor. Follow her at @allisonrumsas.