How to Survive Your First Week

So it’s your first week at your internship. You’re undoubtedly excited about starting with this new company, or returning to a previous employer for another term, but you’re also probably a little bit nervous about being in a new environment. Here are a couple of tips I learned during my first week in my internship with General Motors to help me start off on the right foot:

  1.  People
    1. Reach out and meet as many people as you can. If there are other interns, find them! Or try and get your coworkers to show you the area. Not only will this help you network, but it will get you more involved in the company and simply have more fun throughout the duration of your internship. It’s more than just work!
  2. Listen and Learn
    1. It’s easy to let your mind wander and start daydreaming about all the fun things you’re going to get to do during your assignment, but try and stay focused and listen to all of the instructions and information you’re going to inevitably get.
    2. Depending on your department there’s going to be a ton to figure out once you start. You can look into the structure of your company, where all the locations might be, who’s in charge of what, and what other departments you’ll be working with. If possible, ask for a company dictionary or learners guide that you can read during your downtime.
  3. Ask
    1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It’s better to ask how to do something right, how to get somewhere, or what kind of culture your company has then pretend that you know something and get confused later. You can learn new things that your welcome packets might not contain as well as little tips and tricks that could prove helpful the longer you’re there.
  4. Coffee
    1. Or tea or chocolate, whatever your prerogative, find yourself some caffeine. Get used to your new routine and stay energetic and excited during your meetings. Avoid dozing off at all costs!
  5. Early
    1. Whether it’s your orientation, meetings, or training sessions, get to everything early. If possible, go to your location before your start date so you can find where you need to go so you can avoid getting lost or being late. If you’re early you can get to know the people around you and avoid making a bad first impression if you’re late.

If you can do all of these things and stay focused and committed during your first week, you’ll be well on your way to finding your PLACE within your new company!

Rebekah Engler

Rebekah Engler is a Fisher Logistics Management major graduating in May, 2018. She is a Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Intern at General Motors in Warren, Michigan.

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