The end of the semester is a challenging time. Papers are due, back-to-back group meetings are scheduled and the thought of final exams hang over your head. As if this wasn’t enough, you also have to apply and prepare for a summer internship! Although finishing the semester strong is important, it is also equally as important to start your internship off strong as well. Here are a few tips I learned through my internship at Evoke Health that will you start off on the right foot at your internship.

1. Do Your Homework – Before your first day at your internship, make sure you do your research. Look up the company’s address and make sure you know how to get there. I had a phone interview with Evoke instead of an in-person interview. As a result, I did not know where the company’s office was located. I googled the address and made sure I knew where it was, how to get there and how long it would take me to get there. If you are commuting from Temple to your internship, try buying your subway tokens ahead of time. It will save you valuable minutes during your morning commute! Another thing to research is the company dress code. If you did not have an in-person interview or notice how employees were dressed, email your boss or the HR manager to ask about the dress code. This could save you from the embarrassment or being overdressed or underdressed!

2. Smile – Walk through the front door of the office with confidence. Make sure you stand up straight with your shoulders back. Also, don’t forget to smile! A smile not only shows that you are friendly, but also that you are excited to be there. Smiling makes you seem more approachable as well.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions – As an intern you are not expected to know everything. An internship is first and foremost a learning experience. It is more than okay to ask questions – actually it is expected! Asking questions shows you are interested in what you are doing, that you pay attention and that you care about your work. I have been interning at Evoke for several months now and I still constantly ask questions. Because Evoke is a pharmaceutical company, there are so many abbreviations and medical jargon used by employees. I always ask what these terms mean, so I can better understand the assignments I am given. It is definitely better to ask your boss to clarify a project for you instead of doing the whole thing wrong!

Adjusting into a new internship can be challenging. Learning how to prepare yourself for your first day and first few weeks can help make the process much easier. What are your tips for starting your internship off on the right foot?