Best Practices

10 Thoughts Every Intern Has On Their First Day

The first day of an internship can be a rush of many different thoughts and emotions running through your brain at one time. You feel adult-ish, yet so unprepared for this very moment. Whether you are on your first day or your fifth day, it can all still be extremely overwhelming.  The North team got together to commiserate with you but also offer up a few tips that has helped our team over the years!

  1. Is this considered “business attire?”

North tip: Ladies, nothing says  “business attire” better than a simple black pencil skirt, blouse and simple black heels.  Gentleman, you can’t go wrong with a nice pair of khakis and a button down.  In a more casual office setting roll up your sleeves, if it’s more conservative, make sure you grab a jacket.

  1. Wow, so this is what adulthood looks like…


North Tip: It will be ok.  Take a deep breathe.  Slow down and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Your employer wants you to succeed in adulthood as much as you do!

  1. Okay my mental-note capacity is officially full.

At this point, I’m going to need a 30 page manual to make sure I don’t screw anything up. North Tip: Hopefully, you work in an office that has some kind of project management system — North uses Asana (tag Asana) but if you don’t you can keep yourself organized by using a planner (Around North we love Erin Condren and Kate Spade planners!)  There’s also tons of free downloadable and snazzy to-do lists online!

  1. Wait- where is my boss going?? I HAVE QUESTIONS.

DON’T LEAVE ME. North Tip: Write them down!  If the boss is away and you have a pressing question send them an email and ask for a few minutes of their time when they return.  This puts it on their radar but also helps ensure you don’t forget your questions!

  1. I’m so hungry and it’s only 10:30 am.


North Tip: Welcome to adulthood.  Keep some snacks in your bag or at your desk.  Also learn how to sustain on caffeine ;-).

  1. When is my lunch break again?

Now, please?????? North Tip: Even if you’re slammed, make sure to take a break for lunch! Even if you’re just warming it up down the hall, it’s important to take a few minutes to reset and refuel so you make sure to have a productive afternoon!

  1. Honestly, I feel so professional right now.

Finally made it to the “real world.” North Tip: Congrats.

  1. Which printer am I supposed to connect to?

*tries connecting to all 16 printer options before finding the right one* North Tip: Again, ask for help.  Around here the #bosslady and #thedelegator are constantly reminding us to “work smarter not harder” not guessing at a printer would be a good example of using this practice instead of wasting time guessing the wrong printer!

  1. I’m not allowed to look at my phone, right? Or is that just a school rule?

My mom has texted me 4 times asking how my first day is going.  North Tip: You can look at your phone, just try and keep it professional.  If you’re spending more time on snapchat than you are doing your work your boss is probably not going to be happy.


North Tip: Prioritize and organize.  
Luckily, it does get easier with each day. Never be afraid to ask questions, even the ones that may seem dumb at the time.  If you’re doing it right, we’re willing to bet you will learn more in the “real world” at  your semester-long internship than you will have in your four years of college. In addition, you’re also likely to build your professional networks and hopefully make some new friends along the way!  Being thrown into the “real world” may seem scary, but know that you’re not alone – we’ve all been there….even the #bosslady was an intern once believe it or not!