Pre-Internship Checklist: 5 Things to Do Before Your First Day

Congrats on securing your internship! Now, the real work begins.

While internships are meant to be learning experiences, you never know if your company is evaluating you as a potential future employee. If you are prepared, this internship may open more doors for your career!

1) After Accepting the Offer: Confirm the Details

If these have not been shared, double check the start and end dates, work hours, dress code, and any other logistical information. Give your point of contact, or future supervisor, some time before following up on this!

Have more questions about the company culture ­and what to expect in your role, that you did not get to ask during the interview? Now’s the time! Word them as politely and concisely as you can, and send them via email.

Why not ask if there’s anything you can review in advance, too? Your manager may be able to provide an overview of projects you may take on, or materials you can review to ramp up. Chances are, your initiative will be appreciated and leave a favourable impression.

You can also review the job listing and your resume. Refresh your memory on exactly what will be expected of you and the qualifications and experience you emphasized during the interview process. If you have some time, brush up on the relevant skills and strengths.

Lastly, dive deeper into the company and role: what are its mission, values, products, services, and clients? Keep an eye out for recent news coverage or announcements! The more background knowledge you have, the better prepared you’ll be.

2) Update Your Resume and Online Profiles

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for your internship is to create a professional resume and online profiles that showcase your skills and experience.

If you haven’t, create a LinkedIn profile that you can add your colleagues and manager to after the internship ends. Start posting and engaging with relevant content to build your credibility and expertise. You never know, your internship supervisor could view your profile!

Here’s a tip: if possible, check out the profiles of other team members you’ll be working with, and see if you can get a sense of how the team collaborates and how your role fits into the overall workflow or objectives. The more context you have, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel during those initial introductions.

3) Develop Your Learning Objectives and Potential Projects

Maximise your internship by developing clear learning objectives and exploring potential projects to work on!

For example, do you want to improve your writing, public speaking, critical thinking or time management abilities? Narrow things down to a few key goals, and consult your manager for feedback. The company may even have training programs for certain skills: if you don’t ask, you’ll never know!

Your manager and co-workers will appreciate your enthusiasm and motivation to gain useful experience.

4) Prepare Some Questions to Ask Your Manager

Here are some questions that you can refer to!

  • What does success look like in this internship?
  • Are there extra projects or other chances to enhance your experience? (Only ask this if you can handle additional workload!)
  • How is my performance assessed? Will there be reviews or check-ins to get feedback?
  • If there are opportunities to convert the internship into a full-time role, or a vacancy in the future, what are the requirements and application process (if there are no past listings online)? What skills and experience will be advantageous?

5) Map Out Your Commute and Appearance

While most of us probably do this already, here’s a reminder!

Map your route

Check Google Maps, or the app of your choice, a few days before to determine the best way to get to the company. Add in a generous amount of buffer time, and aim to arrive at least 15 minutes early on your first day. The last thing you want is to be late on your first day!

Appearance matters

Overdressed is better than underdressed. Wear professional, polished attire like slacks or a skirt and a button-down shirt: you can tone this down after getting a better sense of the company’s culture. Bring a bag or backpack with a notebook, pens and your laptop if you were instructed to bring it. Other things you may want to include are water, a power bank (in case your seat isn’t ready) and your charging cable. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel.

6) Set Up Your Workstation and Technology Needs

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for your internship is get your workstation and technology needs in order. This means setting up a dedicated space at home for work, even if it’s a small corner, and ensuring your tech is up to speed.

Install Important Software

Be ready with the core software and programs you’ll need, such as:

  • Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Zoom, Skype, or other video conferencing software
  • Slack, Teams, or other business messaging platforms
  • Any job-specific tools like design, data analysis or CRM software
  • A password manager like LastPass to keep track of logins
  • A note-taking or project management app

Test all the software to ensure everything is working properly before your first day. Ask if there are any employee login credentials you need to set up. The last thing you want is technical difficulties on day one!


So there you have it, your pre-internship checklist to set yourself up for success. It’s normal to feel nervous in a new work environment, so don’t be afraid to ask your co-workers or manager for guidance if you do encounter difficulties.

Ultimately, go into your internship with an open and willing-to-learn attitude and your first day is sure to be a success! We wish you all the best!


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