Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” We’ve heard it a thousand times, along with several other quotes directly linking preparation to success. You think you are on the right track – you are enrolled in school, studying hard and making good grades. You may even be involved in school organizations or activities that highlight just how hardworking you. Surely, you are prepared for whatever the future brings!

The end of school draws near and you’ve done it: you landed your first internship that will give you real-world job experience directly related to your major. Excitement ensues. You’ve done everything you need to do in order to be successful in this new internship, right? Perhaps! But could you do a little more to ensure success? The answer is yes! Here are five tips to provide just a little more preparation prior to starting your internship.

  1. Continue research: You’ve probably already done a good amount of research in preparation for interviewing that landed you this wonderful opportunity. Don’t stop now! It may be a few weeks or months before you start your new role and companies change on a daily basis (new product launches, earnings releases, mergers, etc.). You’ll want to be up to date on everything that has happened between the time you had your interview and the time you start your internship.
  2. Update social media: Social media is a great way to market yourself and network with others you will be working with or within your desired industry. Take time to update your social media accounts (e.g., LinkedIn) to outline your latest accomplishments and skills and present yourself in a professional manner.
  3. Communicate with key contacts: If you have questions (anything from logistics, responsibilities, expectations, or even dress code), keep in touch with your recruiter or hiring leader. It’s okay to ask questions that will help you alleviate uncertainties prior to your first day.
  4. Enhance skills: You know the job description and you’ve discussed responsibilities in detail up to this point. If you’ve relayed that you have certain technical skills, take a few weeks prior to your start date to brush up on those skills and learn a few more tips and tricks in the programs you’ve identified on your resume. There are several online tutorials that can help get you back up to speed or help take your skills to the next level.
  5. Get excited: Most importantly, you want to walk in on your first day with a great attitude, excitement about the opportunity and ready to learn! A healthy attitude can directly affect the outcome of your internship and only YOU are in charge of that!

So, what are you waiting for? Start preparing for your first day at your dream internship now!