How to Survive the first week of your Summer Internship

Congratulations! You've worked through the application process and landed yourself an incredible summer internship! Here are our top 8 survival tips for the first week of your summer internship!

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Congratulations! You've worked through the application process and landed yourself an incredible summer internship! It can be pretty daunting entering a new workplace, especially when you want to leave a good lasting impression! Your first week is crucial to settling in and finding your work pace - Here are our top 8 survival tips for the first week of your summer internship!
1. Do some research beforehand.

Have a read of the position description again and make a note of the areas that particularly interest you, things that you have yet to learn, and compile a list of things you want to get out of the internship. Whether that's networking, upskilling or getting out of your comfort zone, set yourself with some clear intentions and goals to work towards. Some companies might send you an induction pack with all sorts of reading material to read in advance, so make sure to read ahead and have all the essential information and contacts details on hand.

2.  Sort out the logistics

Things like transport, office attire and equipment are not to be overlooked! Spend some time preparing your travels and transport, do you know where you need to go, and how you will get there? Make sure the routes you have planned will get you into the office on time and leave room for delays or unforeseen situations. Especially for your first day, arrive a bit early so you can find your way around and settle in before getting into your new role! 

You'll also want to make sure that in your first week, you've dressed the part too! The safest bet is to dress professionally and formally on your first day before gauging the work attire in the office. If this is your first time working in a professional setting for an extended period, you might like to invest in a professional capsule wardrobe! Ten or so clothing pieces that can be mixed and matched will go a long way and make you feel comfortable working in a new professional setting! 

You'll also want to prepare your work equipment and how you will be taking notes throughout the day. You might want to bring along your laptop, phone, a notebook, and some pens to take notes and take photos throughout the week. 

3. Schedule a 1:1 with your manager/supervisor

It's essential to build a close working relationship with your team and your manager. In your first week, make sure to set some time aside to run through your work and responsibilities. Set up some goals and expectations and make sure that you are both on the same page about the job you will be undertaking. These clear expectations and boundaries are excellent for progress check-ins and to keep you accountable for your expected milestones and achievements. They will also help you reflect and prioritise your areas of development.
 
4. Ask lots of questions

Your first week is the best time to get a good handle on the company, the work, and how everything works! So ask away! As a Uni Student and in your work life, the best way to learn is through practice and asking questions. If things don't make sense or are unclear, make sure you are on the same page as your team and supervisor and speak up. If you are not comfortable speaking up in a group setting and asking questions, make sure to take notes and ask your supervisor at catch-up meetings. As you will be processing a lot of information in your new role, it's best to get help and assistance on the spot. Your co-workers and managers are aware that this is all new to you and will be more than willing to support you as your get used to the new systems and procedures.
 
5. Socialize during lunch

Get to know everyone in the office! Lunch is the perfect opportunity to explore the work culture, make new friends and find a buddy. Lunch breaks are a great time to get to know everyone better and learn more about their lives inside and outside the office. Get to know your co-workers by asking them about their passions and hobbies, their studies, travels and more. It's a great chance to find more collaboration opportunities and build networks and friendships inside and outside of the workplace. You'll also get the scoop about the best eats and coffee around the office! 
 
6. Keep a record of your internship

This one is so undervalued! Take lots of photos and record your thoughts, the things you are learning and people you have met. You'll never know how these thoughts and connections can help you in future roles and your work. Especially if this is a field you want to pursue a career in, all the ideas and inspiration you have in this role can help you for future roles. If you can attend any events or training, take note of the information you learn. It will help upskill you in your current role and give you lots of information to discuss with your co-workers and managers.
 
7. Keep it positive (and professional)

In your new work environment, you might be working with people of all ages, genders, religions and ethnicities. It's essential to maintain professional behaviour and language in your role as you interact with different people. Demonstrating a positive attitude and behaviour will improve your working relationships and allow you to enjoy yourself more. Your summer internship won't last forever! So focus on the good. If you are struggling in your role, reach out to your manager privately and have a discussion. Having a positive attitude and mindset will be noticed by your team and manager and improve your like-ability and potential to grow in your role. Enthusiasm and passion are privileged among employers, and your work ethic will be remembered the more you enjoy yourself and engage with the opportunities on hand! 
 
8. Check-in regularly

Check-ins are essential to growing in your role and making the most out of your summer position. This will allow you to evaluate your expectations for the remainder of the program and will enable you to ask questions and get advice. You will also get the chance to demonstrate your ideas and work to date. You might even learn about future opportunities within the company or tap into other areas of growth and expansion.
 
The first week of your summer internship is both overwhelming and exciting! And by setting up a good routine and foundation, you can make the most out of your summer role. Follow along with these eight tips, and you'll not only survive but thrive in your new and diverse summer role! 
-  Eleanor Almeida, Nxtstep Content Writer

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