Congratulations! You’ve made it past the countless hours of combing Indeed, Linkedin, and all of the job search sites. You want to hit the ground running after you accepted your new internship after that nerve-wracking interview. Yes, you can wipe the sweat off your forehead and breathe. Before you get into the workplace, be sure to think about these key points:

Set Healthy Boundaries 

Starting a new position is very exciting, but sometimes overwhelming. It’s very easy to be eager when it comes to learning new concepts, ideas, and tasks. Make sure you try them all out! However, know your limits. Always do work within your scope of practice. Yes- take chances and learn new things, but don’t bite off more than you can chew. To make sure your work is quality and to-par, start small and manageable, then add on to your workload. For my “yes” people, listen up! It is okay to say “no” to some tasks or assignments. If you know that you are, or potentially will be, spreading yourself too thin, make sure you ask for help and clarification on the project at hand. 

Ask questions

This is a big one. As college students, we are very excited about the education we just obtained over the past four years. Although we may think we know all the answers, we don’t. Never be afraid to ask questions for clarification. Your managers will see this as you being meticulous and thoughtful when it comes to your work ethic – this means major brownie points! If you find that you are getting your work done quickly, ask if there is anything else you can help with or sit-in on. Your coworkers will be very excited to work with you! 

Don’t Forget “You” 

Company culture is a major topic in the workplace. If you find that you are not fitting in the way you would like, make sure you assess your situation. Ask yourself, “Do I like this company’s values? Do they value me and my time? Are they helping me succeed? Am I learning something new? Is this a quality experience?” If you answered “no” to some of the later questions, then try to talk with your manager to see where a difference can be made. Always remember that you are there to learn and grow. If the company is not meeting your expectations, either be proactive and try to spark change, or evaluate where else you can grow your strengths and experiences. 

Stay positive  

No one likes a Negative-Nancy. The work world does not have room for your issues to be brought to the table. If you are having a bad day, be sure to evaluate how you are communicating with others. If you are in a very tough situation, talk to your manager, and see how they can help or give you some personal time to iron it out. When you’re communicating with coworkers each day, stay positive. Everyone loves the positive person in the room! They give everyone a sense of hope on any type of day. If you have a fleeting issue at work, the best thing to do is not gossip about it. That information always goes around. If it is something serious, speak to the person directly or speak to your supervisor. 

Now you are a little more equipped heading into the work world. Make new friends, share experiences, and have a thoughtful outlook on the time you spend there. Make sure you use your skills to the best of your ability. Good luck!

Ella Rechner is a third-year student at Grand Valley State University, studying Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in writing. She proudly serves on the GV PRSSA Executive Board for her second year and plans to continue her involvement with PRSA after her graduation in December 2020. Her favorite experience in the past year was competing in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) finishing in fourth place at the National level. In her free time, you can find her drawing, painting, and watching the latest documentary on Netflix. 

Twitter: @ellarechner