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Orientation and Mentoring Toolkit

Photo of Eleanor Bash at Glacier National Park

The First Few Days on the Job

The first few days on a job are a critical time, setting the stage for the whole internship. This time will most likely be very busy and perhaps a bit overwhelming for both participant and supervisor/mentor. Here are some suggestions for the intern's first few days on the job.

  1. Orientation to the workplace:
  2. A thorough orientation to the workplace is key to ensuring the intern has the tools, knowledge, and confidence to succesfully complete his/her project. Supervisor's should take time to reflect on their initial experience with the park service; what information was useful to them?; what were their concerns? It is also helpful to ask the advice of other, more recently hired staff at the park.

    • Make sure the GIP is introduced to park staff and that staff are aware of the work the GIP will be doing.
    • Tour the office:
      • Where are office supplies located?
      • Where is equipment stored and what is the procedure for checking out equipment?
      • What computer or workspace should the intern use?
      • Does the intern need to take any required training (IT, security, etc.) on the first day of work?
      • What are the standard operating procedures for the building? When should doors be locked, lights and computers turned off, etc?
    • Tour the park:
      • Where will fieldwork be conducted?
      • Provide an overview of park purpose, significance, and organization of park
      • Provide maps to the intern
  3. Orientation to the community:
    • Where are basic services such as a post office, laundromat, grocery store etc?
    • Where is the nearest hospital?
    • Where are places to eat and/or be social?
    • Should any parts of town be avoided?
    • What parts of the park and town receive the best cell phone coverage?
    • Invite the intern to regularly scheduled events (lunches, evening talks, brown bags, etc.)

Download a printable version of the checklist here


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Last Updated: May 09, 2012