Ten Items to Have in Your Bag as an Intern

Posted on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019

Mornings as an intern can definitely be chaotic. You have to make sure you are caffeinated, presentable, and out the door in a timely manner to catch the Metro at the right time. I have found that getting everything ready the night before makes mornings less stressful, especially when packing your bag.
For starters, make sure your bag fits everything you need for your daily tasks. If you just need to throw in an extra pair of shoes to change into once you get to your office, a simple tote bag or a messenger bag will do. If you need to bring more supplies, like a laptop and portfolio, opt for something larger like a computer backpack that is waterproof (because D.C. weather can be unpredictable like in Aggieland). Here are ten things to make sure to have in your bag to make the life of an intern easier and less stressful!
  • Blister Band-Aids: No matter how comfortable or broken in your shoes are, it is always nice to have these handy to make the walk home a bit more bearable after running around all day.
  • Portfolio: If you are sent to an event outside of the office or are invited to a formal meeting, this is something that looks professional and can keep all of your notes, documents, business cards, and writing utensils in once place. 
  • Water bottle: Staying hydrated is important and will help keep you energized throughout the day.
  • Cable lock: This is a great item to keep on your backpack, especially if you keep a water bottle in a side pocket. For example, I lock part of my CamelBak water bottle to one of my zippers to keep it from falling out on the Metro and spilling everywhere.
  • Post-Its: I just finished the eighth day of my internship, and I have already gone through a stack of these. They are nice to use for marking documents or to make to-do lists that you can satisfyingly throw away at the end of the day.
  • Notebook: Always have a small notebook on hand to take notes during meetings with your supervisor and to write down any upcoming events or commitments.
  • Thank You Notes: A handwritten thank you note for someone in your office that did you a favor or gave you an opportunity to go to an event and network will go a long way and look more professional than a mere email or text.
  • Snacks: It is definitely easy to be caught up in your work, so make sure to have a few quick and easy snacks you can eat on the go. I like to keep nut butter packets and a small apple with me, just in case. 
  • Extra pens: It is very easy to use up all the ink in a pen or misplace one. Keep a few different colored pens handy, especially for note taking.
  • Mints: These are nice to have on hand for before meetings and are better than gum so that you do not have to worry about spitting them out.
While many of these things certainly seem like common sense, you would be surprised how more smoothly your day will go when you have some of these items in your bag. Even though you do not want to weigh down your body with a ton of things during your commute, most of these items do not weigh much or take up a lot of room. What are some things that you have found helpful to keep in your bag?
Caroline Benson
Embassy of Mexico
Washington, D.C. | spring 2019