Post # 1
Starting next week, I will have an intern for the first time. I’m only a couple years out of college and in my first job, so this is my first experience with an intern.
I know it can be a nerve wracking experience as a college student, as it is usually your first time working in the professional world, and I wanted to make her feel as welcome and comfortable as possible. I also want to start building a good relationship with her early on. As someone with terrible bosses/supervisors, it’s important for me to make her feel like she belongs & to be a good example.
I thought about getting her a little planner to use while she’s here. And maybe some cute pens/post-it notes.
Does anyone else have ideas?
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor
Take her out for lunch her first day (if you don’t already go out with your group or department), and maybe do lunch with her once a week to check in on how things are going. And maybe give her a list of helpful people/emails/phone numbers (like how to get IT help) in case she runs into any problems or needs help. And write out an org chart – someone did that for me during my first internship, and it really helped me understand who did what in our enormous department!
Post # 4
That’s so nice of you! I think the planner and notes are a great idea but also maybe lotion or a candle. Something she can use at home to relax from the stressful job. I would love to work under you!
Post # 5
That’s really thoughtful of you! Will she have her own office? You could put a sign on the door that says “welcome ____!” , or send out an e-mail to everyone you work with and give them a heads up that she is starting so that they can introduce themselves and say hi to her if they see her in the halls! In previous placements, one of the things that made me feel uncomfortable was when other coworkers did not know who I was or why I was there… my supervisor was not always with me to introduce me so I think it’s nice when others know.
Post # 6
Ask her opinion and actually listen and contemplate it. And be sure to say Thank You.
The best way to make someone feel comfortable in a workplace is to make them feel useful and appreciated.
Take the time to say good morning to her when she is there. Make time to follow up on her tasks etc so if she has a question she isnt afraid to ask.
Post # 7
One thing that I’ve had mentors do is arrange lunch meetings with other key people in the company. So maybe once a week or every other week, set up a lunch with you, her and someone in another group who she wouldn’t other wise meet. In my expirence this helped me learn about the company, make connections, and I believe even led me to my current position. It’s also important for newer people in the office to learn to break out of that shell and practice networking. Before the lunch, brief her on their work and encourage her to come with a mental list of questions. If you are in a position where you attend industry events, invite her as her guest.
Post # 8
One thing that may be helpful is giving your intern a list of VIP’s or other important/connected people in the company and asking her to email or call them to introduce herself; it’s uncommon enough that the VIP’s will remember her, but still within normal business protocol, and it’s good for the rookie’s ego– imagine being an intern and having the director of marketing say hello by name in the elevator.
I would be completely skeeved out if my new boss gave me lotions or candles or a planner, and while I’d be happy and feel welcomed if my new boss took me to lunch on the first day, I wouldn’t expect it to become a regular thing. Don’t go overboard. You don’t want to turn into Delores Herbig.
Post # 9
@fishbone: Agreed. I’d be weirded out if I was given a physical gift. Not everyone likes lotions, and not everyone likes candless. Some people have their own systems for organization that a planner isn’t useful. I was given a planner in my first job — never touched it because I’m all about technology and online calendars.
In the past, I’ve aways put up a welcome sign, asked the people that the intern will be working with most often with to stop by and say hi, be upbeat and let them feel welcome, have a group lunch, gave a list of important phone numbers, and let them know who their next point of contact is if their supervisor isn’t there to answer questions.
Post # 10
@fishbone- I agree.. I would be a little weirded out if I got candles or lotion on my first day of work.. and maybe a little bad that I didn’t get my supervisor a present? I’d wonder if that was expected… of course it would still be a very nice gesture.. it just might be a little tooo nice!
Post # 11
@Mint2Bee: I had someone give me a box of chocolates once…definitely did not know what to make of that.
Post # 12
@Mrs. Wallaby: She is only working 3 days a week from 9-12, so lunch isn’t really an option as she has other obligations! But I did just print her out an org chart — thanks for the suggestion!
@Mint2Bee: Exactly! I’ve been there and it’s a very awkward situation. I plan on walking her around the department and introducing her to everyone.
@ThreeMeers: Great tips, thank you.
@houstonwhodat: I’m actually the events coordinator for a university, so she will definitely be attending events and doing a lot of networking! Great way to connect with others, especially as someone who is about to enter into the professional world.
@fishbone: Bahahaha. Maybe it varies with everyone. I would have been flattered to get a planner on the first day of my internship in college. I’m definitely going to keep it low key though. The lotion & candles seem a bit too far for my tastes.
Post # 13
It makes the first day so much easier when someone takes you out to lunch.
Also, take her around the office and introduce her to everyone in person. I hated when I interned and people would see me around the office and ask who i was. it was so awkward to explain oh well, i’m the intern here. only here a few days a week. just, introduce her to everyone she doesn’t have to do it herself.
in college i had like 5 internships. the most awkward part for me was I didn’t knwo when to go and ask questions. So, I’d write down all my questions and when my boss would happen to swing by I’d be like OH BY THE WAY i have questions. So, try to stop by and ask her how its going for the first week or two so she feels comfortable talking to you.
Its always weird to start in a new place. No one explains how the office kitchen works and where the bathroom is and what time you are supposed to start. and what time to leave. how long of a lunch break you get. and if it has to be at a certain time. show her where the supply room is. just on the first day make it clear bc interns are too shy to ask these kinds of questios.
Post # 14
@Mrs. Wallaby: YES. All of this!
Introduce her to everyone, show her around. If there’s anything in the office that’s a little tricky (vending machine, door, copier), let her know that.
Post # 15
@pokie45: I work in a hospital and it can be really confusing. Last time I had an intern I put together a brief booklet of some terminology they would see, names of key people & short explanations of Different insider type stuff.
Post # 16
@sarg88: Oh my gosh. In the first place I worked, I wanted to bring lunch to save money but I was so terrified of going in the wrong office kitchen (we had three on our floor and it was a territorial atmosphere) that I ate my lunch cold every day for the first three months!