First Day on the Job

Jennifer Rice
Marketing Consultant
Methodist Medical Group

My first job after college was a PR internship. I was trying to get my foot in the door to the healthcare world in Indianapolis. Having thought I had appropriately calculated my timing out the door, I had sadly mistaken how backed up rush hour traffic would be and was ultimately running late on my first day. Luckily for me, so was my supervisor! (I do highly suggest ‘test driving’ your route to work at least once or twice for before you start.) Even though this was the start to my fifth internship, each ‘first day’ of my internships was very different from the next. Starting at Indiana’s largest healthcare system I thought for sure everything would be set up perfectly for me and fully explained. Lesson one: it doesn’t matter the size of an organization or your position, nothing will be ‘perfectly’ ready for you – ask questions. You can never ask enough questions, but it’s good to vary the questions to different people. More than likely you’ll be introduced to the staff briefly or in a meeting. Once you’ve made a connection ask to meet with them individually, even if it’s for 15 minutes. If you’re working at a large organization, or just have a hard time remembering names (like I do), make notes to yourself when meeting with each person. I would write their name down and where their office was located when I met with them. Once I was offered a full-time position after completely my summer internship I felt very comfortable moving over into my new role as I was already very familiar with the company. That was until I received the really large packet in the mail from HR. Here I was with all sorts of foreign jargon sitting in front of me that I really didn’t understand — health insurance, pension plan, 401K and etc. Do I call mom and ask or should I be the ‘grown up that I am’ and figure it out myself? Let’s just say I started with a mixture of both.  Fill out as much as you can and have your questions written out when you go to the human resources department to make sure they answer everything you need. Also, it’s okay to follow up after your forms have been submitted. Especially check on your tax exemptions. I had claimed ‘0’ and had come to find out when I filed for taxes I was claiming ‘2’ and thus owed the government money! I hate to feel as though I’m checking up on our HR department but it’s your money and you have a right to make sure it’s being handled accurately.

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