Adaptation to corporate life

In any group, there are obvious rules and tacit, implicit, often more restrictive rules. You should carefully observe those around you from the very start of your placement, watching the habits, codes, behaviours and relationships between people. Identifying these rules make help you to fit in with the group quickly and easily.

- Understand the hierarchy at the company and how you fit into it (who is really in charge? how are decisions made? who is and isn’t available to you? what is the best path to meet your goals?)

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If you don’t already have an appointment, ask to meet with your advisor / contact / manager at the company on the first day of your placement. This is the person responsible for giving you all the pertinent information about your work placement. Feel free to ask him/her any questions that you may find necessary so that you can be effective at the company and fit in well with your team. The more general (or non-existent) your agreement, the more questions you will need to ask on your first day. Make sure everything is clear and precise with no room for ambiguity.

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Your contacts will be pleased and flattered that you are displaying curiosity and an interest in their company. In addition, they will expect you to have at least some information about it. So it’s up to you to gather as much information about it as possible, online, through your professors, your acquaintances, and so on.

- Go to the company’s website and research the company itself (what type of company is it (microbusiness, SME, large corporation or multinational)? can you find key data such as turnover, number of employees, type of business, etc.?).

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