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Starting your internship is an exciting time; you’re about to gain invaluable career experience, meet new people, face real-world challenges and maybe even visit a new country. The work experience you will acquire is exactly what the very best employers will be looking for when you graduate, so it’s essential you get the most from your time in the industry.

To help ensure this happens, the Glion Career & Internship Team have put together their top 10 things to do before starting an internship, based on intern and employer feedback.

1. Keep the internship office informed

Make sure that the internship office has all data about your internship placement (contract, information about employer etc.). They will then be able to help you with other requirements such as visas.

2. Familiarize yourself with the company

Before you apply to a company, conduct some thorough research! During your internship, ask as many questions as you can to establish where you’ll be based, who you’ll report to and what department you’ll be in. Check LinkedIn and follow the business, read the latest news on their website. Get up to speed so you can hit the ground running from day one.

3. Know the company dress code

You will want to feel comfortable and ready to work at your internship, so make sure you check the dress code before you start. Ask about any uniform or specific apparel you may need as well.

4. Learn the language

Communication will be key to understanding your role, completing your tasks, delivering value and receiving feedback, so you’ll need to be able to speak the same language as your manager. If your internship is in a foreign country with a different language, consider taking a short language course, downloading a language app or buying a dictionary.

5. Bring a notebook and pen

Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many interns forget these essential pieces of equipment. You’ll be given a lot of information in the first few days (including people’s names!) and will receive instructions throughout your placement, so it’s important to have somewhere to take notes and keep track of everything.

6. Don’t be late on your first day!

Arriving late on the first day is a no-no and sets a sloppy tone for the rest of your internship. Leave home earlier than you think you need to, so you can relax on the journey and think clearly when you arrive.

7. Apply your classroom knowledge and experience

It can be overwhelming going from the classroom to the workplace, but just remember all of the practical arts and theory knowledge you’ve acquired. Get involved and be confident, and you’ll soon see how that knowledge and your ability can be applied.

8. Ask lots of questions

Don’t be afraid to ask your manager, or anyone, for help. Time and again we hear the leaders in the industry say how important it is to ask others for advice and support, whether it’s explaining a term you’re unfamiliar with, or where the nearest bathroom is!

9. Set goals for yourself

Set some clear goals for yourself to accomplish by the end of your internship. They will help keep you focused and on your A-Game. Share them with your manager or internship coordinator, so they can help you realize them.

10. Have fun!

Remember you’re there to learn and you’re not expected to have all the answers, so relax, enjoy the experience and focus on doing your best. You’ll be outside your comfort zone, but that’s where we grow and excel, so embrace it, learn lots and do yourself proud!

Learn about the internship support that we offer in Glion

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About the author

Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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