Preparing for Your Internship
Once you have secured an internship position, begin preparing for your new job. Give thought in advance to what you hope to learn and gain from your internship that will help you make the most of the opportunity.
The following are considerations prior to your first day of work to help you get started on the right foot.
Ways to prepare for your internship position:
- Review the offer letter and position description. Give some thought to what you want to get out of your internship experience. Consider learning objectives for your experience and complete a learning plan upon arrival at your internship in conjunction with your supervisor.
- Take the StrengthsFinder assessment through StrengthsQuest at Virginia Tech (vt.gallup.com) to find out your top five talent themes. Meet with an advisor in Career and Professional Development to discuss your results and connect your strengths to your internship position. Learn more about how your natural areas of talent will help you be successful.
- Think about how you can start to develop the professional competencies to be career ready. Consider making these competencies part of your learning plan.
- Watch our event calendar for sessions of: How to Survive Your First Job or Internship
Things to consider before your first day of work:
- Ask your supervisor to provide you with an agenda for your first day of work and details regarding where you should report upon arrival.
- Ask about office dress code and expectations. Ask questions if you need clarity.
- Confirm your work hours, ask about parking rules, costs, and passes, and details about lunch hour or other breaks.
- Find out if you need to bring a driver’s license or other form of identification, social security card and/or passport to verify citizenship for employment paperwork.
- Review the organization online, including the organizational chart, and familiarize yourself with the people you will be working with.
- Find out if there are other interns working with the organization, and if you can contact them.
What to expect during the first few days of your internship:
If this information isn’t on the agenda, request that it be covered with you.
- An orientation to the organization, operations and the team you will be working with.
- A tour of the office building or facility and your workspace.
- Team and/or staff introductions.
- Review of position description and performance expectations.
- Meeting with your supervisor to discuss supervision plans and communication expectations. Find out if your supervisor prefers to communicate in person or electronically. Plan a schedule for regular meetings with your supervisor.
- Review of office policies and procedures, as well as your work schedule and hours.
- Instructions for requesting leave (planned and sick days).
- Payroll information (employment and tax forms) and instructions for filling out time cards and reporting hours worked.
- Receive necessary training to perform your job successfully.
- Meet with your supervisor to develop learning objectives and determine specific job assignments.