Starting any new role is essentially about navigating a set of milestones – after the first day and week comes completing your first month. Within the first month, in addition to learning your role, you will meet more people, get to know those you work with better, gain a deeper understanding of the business and start to make an impression in your role.
Depending on your placement within the team, if you are participating in an internship as part of your degree or course work then you may also have some paperwork to organise. Before you can commence work, your school is likely to have a number of documents that must be submitted but it’s likely there will also be forms that you’ll need to have signed during your time in the office. You may need to send copies of a working agreement signed by both you and your manager, as well as any completion certificates of induction and/or Health and Safety training courses. It’s important to know exactly what your school requires from you and by when. If you don’t return any mandatory paperwork to your placement officer by the required date you may not be able to complete your placement or it may not count towards your study.
Meeting with your placement officer
In addition to submitting any required documentation, it may also be a requirement for you to have a formal meeting during your internship with both your manager and placement officer. This is usually arranged to discuss your performance, the tasks you have been assigned and your day-to-day responsibilities within the team. Make sure you keep an eye on your student emails for any meeting requests from your school or university and promptly arrange a suitable catch-up time.
Getting to know the business
You know your way around the office, you’re getting more confident within your role and you may or may not have some down time in the first few weeks which is where you could do some further research on the business. Speaking to your colleagues about what their role entails and doing some reading on the company website or intranet can help you develop your understanding of the business. If you can either during work when you have some spare time or at home do some research into the work the company does via the about us section, news articles and content on their website.
Building work relationships
You probably won’t remember everyone’s name from the first day and there may have been some people you weren’t introduced to so it’s important to make an effort when you see the team around the office. Introduce yourself if you recognise someone from your team you haven’t spoken to. Get to know those you work with better by asking about their role, time with the company and previous roles when you get a chance. Not only will you be developing stronger relationships with your co-workers but you will also develop your office network which will ensure you know who handles what queries and who the best person is to help you with any questions you may have.
Impress your team
Once you are settled into the daily routine, feel more comfortable within the team and know what is expected of you on a daily basis you can begin to develop your skills, take more initiative and get more involved with wider projects.
If you have free time, offer to help your manager with their workload, ask if there is anything else you could help with. If there is something you would like to understand better then set up a meeting with your manager to discuss how you could go about doing so. If you have any skills which you could teach to your team members or you notice they need help; offer it.
Show your value. Perform well in your role, strive to keep learning, take on more responsibility where possible and support your team when you can.
Finding the perfect first job, internship or graduate scheme is just the beginning of your career. Along the way, you will develop new skills, find new passions and be presented with a variety of new opportunities.
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