Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Congratulations on your internship! Internships are a great way to get your foot in the door with a company and open opportunities for full-time employment so it’s important to get a head start on putting your best foot forward. Prior to starting your internship, I would recommend brushing up on relevant skills you will need to perform your job duties. If there is a specific system or software you know you’ll be using, try to find training materials or guides to practice using them. For example, if you’re working as a Finance intern then there’s a good chance you’ll be using a lot of Excel and possibly SAP. Find some free online training courses, if available. If you haven’t already been told the types of job responsibilities you may have, you can reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager to see if there are any skills they would recommend you brush up on. Also, it’s important to dress for the job you want and not the job you have. Be sure to find appropriate clothing based on the dress code for your company and portray yourself in a professional manner. Once you begin your internship, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your manager will understand you don’t have a lot of previous experience and will expect you to ask questions. Also, if you don’t have enough work, don’t be afraid to ask for more work. Lastly, network as much as possible during your internship. In my experience, employee’s are more than willing to meet with interns so don’t be afraid to ask your manager who you can network with to learn more about the business or a certain functional area while you’re there.