by Gianna Rispoli
Whether you’re a student or an early-career professional, internships are a great way to build first-hand experience in subjects that interest you. As a second-year undergraduate student myself, I chose to relocate to Washington, D.C. to simultaneously complete my spring semester and my internship for Charles Aris.
With the move, I quickly learned a lot about personal growth. Moving to a new city, meeting new people and starting a new job are all exciting opportunities, but they can come with intense adjustment periods. Here are my three tips for anyone interested in relocating for an internship:
Prepare for your first day on the job.
Don’t let the first day be full of surprises. Instead, prepare yourself to avoid feeling like you’re caught off guard. By doing things such as rereading your job description, speaking with fellow employees and studying what your expectations will be as an intern, you will set yourself up for success.
Here’s a list of activities you should do to prepare for a new internship:
1. Message an employee about the proper work attire. It is important to know what the office culture and atmosphere are like, even when working via Zoom.
2. Set up your work laptop and accessories ahead of time. This gives you a chance to report any issues with the setup process before you start working.
3. Bonus: visit your office! If your internship is in-person, seeing the office will help you visualize what days will be like.
Formulate a plan based on what you want to get out of your experience.
To avoid the hassle of not knowing what to do or where to go in a new city, it helps to do a bit of research and to formulate an action plan. Try to answer the who, what, where, when, why and how of the city, in reference to how you want your experience to go.
For example, mastering a new public transportation system is often key to becoming acquainted to a new city. If one of your goals is to practice adaptability, find answers to those key questions in reference to public transportation and use them to develop an action plan for when and where you plan to travel within the city.
Be open minded in new situations.
When new situations arise, it can be hard to stay positive and go with the flow. To make the most of your move, it is pertinent to stay open minded. For example, upon moving to Washington, D.C. my roommates and I have enjoyed daily walks together while trying new local restaurants and wandering in neighborhoods we have yet to see. This has not only allowed me to learn more about the city, but it has taught me a lot about myself and who I surround myself with.
You can apply the same principle to your new internship. Don’t turn down new assignments, even if you are afraid of doing something incorrectly. In new situations, it is often best to dive headfirst and ask questions along the way. Internships are all about endless growth and possibilities, so try your best to keep your mind open to new things.
These are just a few of the many preparations I made before moving to Washington, D.C. for my new internship. Whether your internship is in a new city, a new state or a new country, you should be excited about the opportunity and stay focused on what is most important to you!
To learn more about the Charles Aris internship program, visit charlesaris.com/intern-at-charles-aris.