It’s that time again, and summer is officially in swing! While this time of year brings us the much-needed time to catch rays, catch up with friends, or catch up on a few hours of sleep, it is also a time for new beginnings. You may be starting in a new internship position, summer job, volunteer opportunity, or getting acclimated with new colleagues at a current workplace. Regardless of where you are and what you’re up to this summer, new opportunities mean meeting new people and putting your best foot forward. As I am starting my first public relations internship this summer, I want you and I to make some stellar first impressions.

Make yourself known
It’s your first week or so on the job, and naturally, you have some first-week jitters, but it is vital to keep one thing in mind – they chose YOU for the job! During your interview process, you checked all the boxes, and your new colleagues are ready to get to know you beyond the skills that made you qualified. Now is an opportunity to spread your positive energy, so step outside your comfort zone a little. Take moments to say hello and introduce yourself, strike up conversations with colleagues on a break, ask about someone and then let them get to know you. Make yourself approachable and engaged from the start, and people will remember you. 

Show readiness for action
When starting a new job, you most likely won’t be expected to take on more complex tasks during training, but be sure to express initiative even through the smaller ones. Make an effort to complete tasks you are assigned thoroughly, and seek out additional areas where your assistance could be of-use. Be on target from the get-go so that you exude diligence and professionalism.

Learn the culture quickly
During the onboarding process, you will learn more about how the company operates and its core values. It’s a good idea to make an effort to not only get acclimated with the company culture but to instill its values within yourself. You will make a good impression when you demonstrate openness and compliance. When you work on contributing to company culture, you’ll start exemplifying an ideal employee.

Express eagerness to learn
Starting in a new position can be overwhelming sometimes when there is so much to learn, but it never hurts to ask questions! Be confident enough to tell someone that you need help understanding something, as this is much more efficient than trying to figure it out on your own. Learn the lay of the land as well. Get to know the responsibilities and expertise of colleagues in different departments. Doing so will help you learn who to use as a resource in the future. Your new boss and colleagues will be impressed by your genuine interest and drive to learn and adapt to your new work environment.

Katelyn McQuillan is a senior studying Advertising and Public Relations. She serves as the VP of Programming for GVPRSSA and will be serving as an Account Executive for GrandPR. Katelyn is also the Vice President of GVSU’s only all-female A Capella group, Midnight Snack. This summer, Katelyn is working as a Corporate Communications Intern with Meijer inc.