4 Essentials Every New Intern and Graduate Needs to Know

by Dec 14, 2016

Article originally posted on LinkedIn

Prepare yourself! It’s that time of the year again when the library is crowded, it’s still sunny at 5 pm, and there’s a queue at the nearest convenient store filled with students impatiently waiting for the go-to self-serve coffee machine. This can only mean one thing.

Finals week.

You’re standing in the queue and for that brief moment, time stands still. You begin to contemplate life and realise that without any work experience, your prospects of securing that dream graduate job is significantly more challenging. No pressure.

Internships have become a prerequisite for many university students not only in Australia but also around the world. These professional work experiences provide students with both invaluable knowledge and industry exposure.

As a Digital Intern in the M Grad Programme at MEC, I am excited to share with you four essentials every new intern and graduate needs to know.

1. Be on time and dressed presentably 

In the workforce punctuality, is crucial because not only does this create a positive first impression but it also demonstrates your professionalism and the fact that you value the time of your busy manager.

To ensure that you’re not late, it’s important to consider those little things like your mode of transport, traffic, and the optimal route to your office. On the day, get to the office about 15 minutes beforehand because that gives you enough time to use the restroom, check your presentation, and calm any nerves while waiting at reception.

Your presentation on the first day is very important. Your choice of outfit helps to boost your confidence, create a positive personal brand, and first impression. Most first impressions are made from visual cues within seconds after meeting someone. Thus, being appropriately dressed is the simplest way to start things off on a positive note.

Since dress codes vary among different companies, it’s important to note that it is always better to be on the safe side and overdress. There’s nothing more awkward than realising that you’re way underdressed.

Remember to survey the office for some fashion inspiration and take a mental note of what your colleagues are wearing so you can easily modify your outfit the following day.

2. Smile and introduce yourself to everyone

Smiling sounds like a novel tip, but it is one that’s easily forgotten when you’re feeling a bit nervous on the first day. Smiling is a simple yet powerful body language, which helps you to emit positive vibes and make you more likeable. Plus it’s one of your most important assets!

In every industry, building strong relationships is fundamental to success, particularly in media where there are constant interactions with various stakeholders. Before the foundation of any relationship could be established, an introduction is needed. On your first day, it’s important to introduce yourself to your team, the people within your proximity, colleagues on your floor, and any other interns. Your team will form the backbone and support network during your time with the company.

Your introduction should be brief and tell the other person who you are (eg. name, title, and which team you’ll be working with). Remember to extend a firm handshake, smile, speak clearly, and make eye contact.

3. Listen, observe, ask questions and take notes

The first few days into your new role can be somewhat overwhelming as you attempt to understand the industry and company jargon, manage different tasks, and absorb new information. Actively listening, making observations, and asking questions will be essential to helping you settle in.

With lots of things to take in and process it’s important to keep a small notebook. This little notebook will be your best friend, as it will help you to remember names, make important notes, list your goals for the day, and record any new leanings.

Especially your first day, remember to put your phone on silent and avoid checking social media, as you need to be present at work. There’s a time and place for that during your break.

4. Say “yes” to invites and lunches

When invited to attend a work event or lunch, say “yes”! These informal events are a great opportunity to bond with your team, get to know cross-departmental colleagues on a personal level, and foster positive client relationships. It’s also an opportunity to learn more about your industry and expand your network because you never know who you will meet and how this will affect your future.

The sense of belonging and acceptance at work is very important to both one’s mental health and productivity. As highlighted in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it is in human nature to crave belonging to social groups. Hence, forming positive and trusting relationships in the workplace is vital.

#University #Recruiting #Interning #Dontjustlivethrive

Featured image courtesy of Pexels.

By Peter Tran

By Peter Tran

UTS Student

Peter Tran is a former Accomplish Award participant and a final year Marketing and Environmental Science student. He has worked across a number of roles on campus, predominately with the Equity & Diversity Unit on the U@Uni Schools Outreach Program to support the UTS Widening Participation Strategy