How to make an impression on the first day of your internship

First Impressions Matter!

Imagine yourself walking into a ballroom filled with people. How would you dress up? This is a very rudimentary answer but you have to dress your part. No one is going to show up to a masquerade wearing shorts and a tee shirt. Key takeaway; first impressions matter. The way you act, dress, talk, etc., really goes a long way. Same concept applies to internships. Internships go a long way.

They open doors to various opportunities and help you develop as a professional individual. The key to a successful internship is to come in with an open attitude. Be a sponge and absorb all the skills and knowledge passed onto you by your mentors.

Confidence is Key(?)

Is confidence the key to everything? Being too confident can sometimes be toxic towards others and sometimes having no confidence at all just makes you look incompetent. Where do we go from here? There’s no doubt that every successful person is confident. They’ve accomplished a lot in their career and have much to be proud of.

Here’s an interesting thought; in 2012, Harvard Business Review published an article stating that less confident people are more successful in their careers. The key takeaway is to be humble. Boasting does absolutely nothing for you, especially when you have no idea what you’re doing or talking about.

Let’s talk about people with high self confidence. These people are able to take initiative. They’ll jump straight into projects, take risks, and be a leader to others. The power of self confidence is alluring. It can bring you to the highest point in your career but in the blink of an eye, push you all the way down to where you began. Self confidence could be an asset, if used in an efficient way. One could say that self confidence correlates with good leadership. Here’s why

  • Urge to start working: Anyone with self confidence believes in their ability to succeed and this leads to them wanting to dive right in and start working on new assignments/projects. A self confident person would have already evaluated the situation and analyzed the pros & cons.
  • Independent thinkers: Self confident individuals are independent thinkers that are highly motivated self starters with lots of potential for success. Why does this make them good leaders? They do not linger and wait around for orders. Instead they implement actions based on the principles of the company.
  • Realize and learn from mistakes: The Harvard Business Review writes that a less-confident person is naturally self conscious and will be more critical and hard on themselves. Ultimately, a less self-confident person may emphasize too much on their mistakes and never move past them. On the other hand, a confident person knows that mistakes are natural. Mistakes are inevitable and the most important thing is to learn from them.

There are pros and cons to self confidence, just like everything else. Our advice on when to be confident; it depends on a lot of things such as, company culture, work environment, coworkers etc. Read the room and come to your own conclusions on whether confidence will bring you success or failure.

AIP will give you advice on how to prepare yourself for interviews with companies. We know that first time job interviews can be tough and give anyone the jittery feeling. Everyone’s been there and we would love to help out.

Ways to make an impression

You’re on your way to the office. You’ve passed the interview and the company has decided to hire you. This is your first internship and you know that this is certainly a company that you’d want to work for in the future. Aside from dressing the part, what else do you need to know to really hit a homerun on your first day at work? Here are a few things you should know that would ensure success.

  • Be an attentive listener: Pay attention and listen to the person talking to you. Don’t be rude. Odds are pretty high that a lot of your coworkers will be talking to you on the first day. They want to know you better but also teach you how the company operates. Ultimately, you want to be listening and paying attention because it will affect how you work in the future. Maintain eye contact as they’re speaking and do not get distracted. Listening and showing respect will establish and maintain strong relationships with your coworkers.
  • Be on time: On your first day to work, wake up earlier than usual. You do not want to show up late on the first day because that looks extremely unprofessional. Do not test the theory that you can shower, change, and eat breakfast within the span of 15-20 minutes.
  • Small talk: Remember those cheesy icebreaker games and activities that college professors force you to do on the first day of classes? Creating small talk is the cooler version of that. This is your way of getting to know coworkers. Socialize when it is appropriate and do not be awkward. Get to know the people around you because you will be seeing them for quite some time.
  • Be yourself: In this case, do not, “fake it till you make it”. You want to be yourself throughout the course of your internship. Why? When you are not yourself, you will not find out what you truly want to achieve from this internship and long term it may affect your personal goals and professional development.

Apply for an internship with AIP!

Internships are important because they give you a glimpse into what it is like to work. You’ll see how companies operate in an international setting. It is okay to be nervous, just don’t let that feeling cloud your actions and potential for success. Our internships will help you develop leadership skills and give you the confidence needed to succeed in your future endeavors.

Learn more about our internships!