Start Preparing for Your Summer Internship

Ready for your summer internship? Brace yourself – You’re only about a month to a month and a half from starting. And I’m sure you know how quickly the last few weeks of the semester will fly by.

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Here is your summer internship preparation to-do list for the next few weeks:

  • Confirm all important logistical details: Your start date, what time you need to arrive at work, what type of workspace you will have (ex. Will you have a desk?), and how much time you have for a lunch break. As you get closer to your start date, consider a travel test run or two, figuring out the best transportation and route options as well as establishing familiarity with the area if it’s new to you.
  • Do your homework. Think that just because the interview process is over, you can stop researching the company? Think again. Continue to learn as much as you can about your host organization to be prepared for any work that might come your way. Set up a Google Alert for the company to get any news, blog posts, and other online content related to the organization emailed directly to you. Start reading industry blogs and publications to understand trends and the competition. Spend more time reviewing the company’s website to be as familiar as possible with the organization. Connect with the organization and future co-workers on social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Make sure your social media profiles are “clean” before you connect, and keep them clean permanently.
  • Check in with your company contact a week out from your start date. Touch base via phone or email. Ask for any details you may still need, like parking information. Ask if there are any last minute things you can do to prepare for your first day. Reiterate your excitement to start your internship.
  • Prepare for your first day. Figure out what you will wear on your first day and make sure it’s clean, pressed, and ready to go. Plan your lunch break by packing a lunch or getting money to buy lunch. Gather any materials you need, like a notepad and pen or any materials the company provided to you (ex. info packet, parking permit, etc.). Go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep (try to do this for a few nights in advance for the best results). Set your alarm to go off a little earlier than usual to give yourself plenty of time to get ready and head for the office.

As you complete all of your prep work, don’t forget to step back for a moment and recognize your success. You secured an internship and are on your way to developing as a young professional. This is an exciting time. Don’t lose sight of this excitement through any first-day jitters.

Photo by sharyn morrow / Creative Commons licensed BY-NC-ND 2.0