I came across this article on ready4work about “How to Spend the First 5 days as an Intern”, and I really like it because it’s very catered for the Malaysian market. Do check out the full article for some of the finer details!

Instead of using five days, I wanted to pick some of the ideas I really like and also add on some of my own input, which I thought would be really helpful for those looking for internships. Here are the five days according to the article:

1) Remember as many names as you can!

On the first day you will be introducing yourself to the office, and it’s going to be a LOT of names. So remember these names and what they do, have a notepad with you to write these down quietly later (please don’t write in front of them, it’s very strange). It will really impress your colleagues if you can show that you remember who they are later, or at least you won’t risk offending them if you have forgotten.

2) Take each assignment very seriously

Interns often get more basic assignments that can come across as mundane or very clerical, and it’s very easy to mistake these tasks as unimportant. You will need to learn that every tasks performed will contribute to the success of the business in some big or small ways, and when you are given any assignment, you should do your best to do an excellent job. This will give confidence to your senior colleagues that they can slowly allow you to take on the bigger stuff, so they best way to move away from the mundane tasks is to do it very well!

3) Volunteer yourself for work

Internships don’t pay well, so many interns make the mistake of thinking they’re being clever if they try to get away with doing as little as possible. But your internship is about learning, and you’ve been given this opportunity to learn even though you’ve never had any relevant experience. Make the most of this, get your work done efficiently, and keep volunteering yourself to help out in other things, that’s when all the interesting work will start going to you.

4) Be friendly and have conversations

It’s not all about work, so be friendly to the people you are working with, especially during non-peak hours. Have conversations and build relationships. Be respectful of their time, if you do not feel that it’s the right time for a conversation, pick a better moment so you don’t come across as trying too hard.

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Posted by Derek Toh

Derek is the founder and CEO of WOBB.CO. He was part of the pioneer batch for the Stanford-MaGIC Entrepreneurship Program, and is also a mentor for McKinsey & Company's Youth Leadership Academy. Derek is on a mission to revolutionise work culture in Asia. He cares about initiatives that improve education and the talent market. Derek is also a big fan of superhero movies, and has been told that he drinks too much coffee during the day.