Whether you’re starting your internship, research, or volunteer opportunity, we are committed to supporting you so that you are equipped to make the most of your summer experience. 

Even though the global pandemic has shifted the format in which you’re gaining experience, the experience itself will still allow you to bring what you learn into your future opportunities and career path.  

So, if you’re wondering how can you best prepare for those first few weeks, we’re here to help!

In thinking about your first few weeks in your new role, here are some tips and tricks to take with you:

Take time to adjust to your new “workplace.”

No matter the format, it’s your first day on the job!

In this adjustment period, there will always be times when you don’t know what to do – whether it’s how to bring up a sensitive topic, how to ask for a day off, or what to do when you’re stuck.

Don’t worry! Here at CCE, those things are what we specialize in. Get started with our tips below:

How should I…

Orient myself to the “office culture”?

  • Take a backseat for a little and listen intently to your supervisor and in meetings.
  • Zoom and email etiquette will differ from company to company; spend some time figuring out the office communication culture.
  • Find a routine with your supervisor and set up regular check-ins.

Deal with free time during work hours?

  • Look for ways to help your coworkers by asking questions!
  • Set up virtual coffee chats with your coworkers to get to know them better.

Fix a problem I caused?

  • Be honest with your supervisor and come to the conversation with a solution to solve the problem that exists.
  • Keep a growth mindset; learn from your mistakes and use them to inform your next task or assignment.

Ask for a day off?

  • If you’re sick or need to take some personal leave, clarify the process with your supervisor at the start of your internship.
  • Be proactive, offer to make up missed time, and ensure others can cover tasks.

Get noticed as an intern?

  • Take Initiative! 
  • Find ways to make the lives of people around you much easier.

It’s all about teamwork – How to be a great team player:

We each play a role in a team.

Knowing this, it’s important that as an intern or volunteer you can intentionally create opportunities for yourself to work effectively with a team. This way you will make yourself an invaluable asset to the team.

What does this do? It helps you build trust and confidence in yourself and with your supervisor.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you engage with your coworkers in collaborative projects.

Know your team’s goals

  • Understand not only your team’s goals, but also their vision — examine the “why” behind your assignments
  • Identify how your projects fit into the team’s vision
  • Identify what role you take on within your team and express that to your teammates so everyone has an understanding of their position to get the job done

Communicate, communicate, communicate

  • Ask questions and clarify your duties with your supervisor or coworkers
  • Keep your supervisor up to date on your progress
  • Be available online/via email so many communication channels are available

Level up your interpersonal skills

  • Challenge yourself to talk to someone you haven’t met already or want to get to know better.
  • Identify where you think you can improve your interpersonal skills and challenge yourself to be in new situations that help you grow in those areas

Highlight your strengths

  • Identify your strengths (technical, communication, writing, analytical skills) and make them visible to your team
  • Know that your projects alone will speak towards the value you have as an intern

Finally, remember you’re not alone…

Schedule an appointment with a career counselor for one-on-one guidance about any issues that arise or to discuss your next steps.