First Impressions: Make the Most of your First Week

Looking good? Check. source:

Looking good? Check.
source: blogs​.fit​.edu

This article was written by Lindsey Sampson, a 3rd year inter­na­tional affairs stu­dent at NU as a reg­ular stu­dent con­trib­utor for The Works. Follow her blog here and/​or tweet her @lindseygsampson

The begin­ning of co-​​op is upon us, which means it’s time for new intro­duc­tions. Your first week is going to be over­whelming; you will meet too many people, learn all about your new respon­si­bil­i­ties, and you will feel like it can’t pos­sibly only be 10am. Don’t worry – you got this. Here are a few tips to make the most of your first week.

Never eat alone: This is the time to intro­duce your­self. Get lunch with your depart­ment or go on a coffee run with the nice lady you just met from marketing—meet everyone you can. Your job will be much more enjoy­able once you make some friends, so why put it off?

Don’t walk in like you own the place: During your first week, air on the side of saying less rather than saying too much. You will pro­vide a fresh set of eyes for looking at sys­tems and processes. Your sug­ges­tions will be valu­able, but store up some ideas and save them for when you have a better idea of how the com­pany works.


Don’t call your boss Mary when her name is Kate: A mag­ical amnesia wave washes over me during intro­duc­tions. I am so focused on shaking hands and telling the other person my name that I com­pletely forget to pay atten­tion to their name. Imme­di­ately after they tell me, I have already long forgotten. Save your­self the embar­rass­ment by paying atten­tion during intro­duc­tions. During your first week, avoid using the phrase, “I’m not good with names.” No one is good with names. The only way to get good at names is by con­sciously focusing during intro­duc­tions. Some­times you’ll blow it, but hey, it’s the first week.

Meet with your boss: Or better yet, your boss’s boss. Take time your first week to dis­cuss the company’s goals and how you fit within the larger goals of the com­pany. Knowing not only your respon­si­bil­i­ties, but the respon­si­bil­i­ties of those above will allow you to go above and beyond from the begin­ning in a notice­able and pro­duc­tive way. This puts you in a great posi­tion for a raise down the road (but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

Most of all, don’t worry. Your first week and the many first impres­sions will be intim­i­dating, but you will get used to every­thing and you will learn your co-worker’s name and, with no warning at all, you will get to your desk one morning and realize you’re thriving. It’s co-​​op season, so let’s make it happen.

Lindsey Sampson is a mid­dler Inter­na­tional Affairs major with minors in Social Entre­pre­neur­ship and Writing. She enjoys writing about Mil­len­nials in the work­place and social media as a mar­keting tool. Follow her blog here and/​or tweet her @lindseygsampson.