University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

First Day, First Week, First Month...

When you start your career here at the U, there will be a lot of things you need to learn about. It can help to have some idea of what you should be looking to do first. Below is a list of things you should count on happening on your first day, your first week, and your first month of employment. Many of these things will already be a part of your orientation schedule set by your department and supervisor. But, some may be new things for you to think about as you get acclimated to your new position.

You may also want to print out this checklist (pdf) and keep it handy as you go through your first month here at the U. It can be a good reminder of things you should take a look at as you settle in.

First Day

  • Fill out employment forms: I-9, W-4 form, etc. Your human resources professional will help with this, but you can start some of the forms before starting work by filling out your portion of the I-9 form. An I-9 Reference Guide (pdf) is available to help you through the process.
  • Obtain employee identification: Internet ID, departmental ID (if applicable), etc. You will be assigned an Internet ID once you enter the University payroll system. For more info, visit the 1-Help Technology Services website.
  • Meet your supervisor and co-workers: Get to know the people you will be working with and join them for lunch. Try to learn the names of at least four of your co-workers by the end of the day.
  • Tour work area and building: Get to know your workplace as well. This includes the mail room, break room, emergency exit, restrooms, parking location, and more.
  • Set up employee email account: After you have the internet ID, you need to activate it by creating a password at the Office of Information Technology website.
  • Sign up for direct deposit: This service will enable payroll to deposit your earning directly to your bank account. You must have your Internet ID and password to do this. To sign up, go to the Employee Self-Service website. Then click “Direct Deposit” in the list of self-service actions
  • Register for the New Employee Orientation program: Attending the New Employee Orientation (NEO) is mandatory for all new University of Minnesota employees. To register, find out the time and location, and more, visit the NEO registration website.
  • Go over your new employee checklist: Your supervisor may have their own version of this checklist, but you may use the NEO Checklist (pdf). Review the checklist with your supervisor and complete other paperwork if necessary.
  • Parking and transportation services: Visit the Parking and Transportation Services website for info about parking and getting around campus.

First Week

  • Obtain a U Card: This will give you access to the many facilities and services such libraries, computer labs, and golf course at the U. To create the U Card or find out if you’re eligible, visit the U Card website.
  • Review training and development plan: Talk your supervisor about what trainings you will need and be sure you get them scheduled on to your calendar. Trainings may include HIPAA (medical privacy), FERPA (student privacy), customer service, PeopleSoft (UMN software for human resources and students), data privacy, etc.
  • Sign up for benefits: New employees must apply for benefits within 60 days from the start of their employment. Benefits include medical, dental, pharmacy, life insurance, tuition, employee discounts and perks, and more. For more information, read through the benefits and retirement orientations on the NEO website. If your hire date is prior September 1, you have the option to participate in the Wellness Points Bank for premium reduction for the upcoming year. However, you need to file for your benefits before the deadline based on your effective date. If you do not file for your benefits before the deadline you will not be eligible to take the Wellness Assessment to lower the following year's premium. For more information about eligibility, please visit Wellness Assessment webpage.
  • Learn about the employee group you belong to (bargaining unit, civil service, P&A, or Faculty). Ask your supervisor if you if you don't know which group you belong to.
  • Explore the New Employee Orientation website: You will find many useful and helpful resources that will benefit you in the short and long run working at the U.
  • Partner up with your mentor or buddy: Talk with your supervisor to see if there is a mentor or buddy program in your department. If not, ask if there are a few people your supervisor would suggest you get to know. Make a point of introducing yourself to those people this first week and see if you can meet them for coffee or a walking break at some point.
  • Obtain important contact information: Ask your supervisor for a list of the most commonly occurring questions in your office and make sure you have contact information for the people who can help you with these questions.
  • Take campus tour: Visit the many wonderful sites and buildings on the U of M East Bank, West Bank, and St. Paul campus. The TCF Stadium, Washington Ave Bridge (over the Mississippi River), Weisman Art Museum, and more! It will help to have the campus map with you because the campus is big.

First Month

  • Attend New Employee Orientation: You will learn more information about the U and its resources. You will also get to take a picture with Goldy, enjoy a free breakfast, win prizes, and network with other new U of M employees! You can register here.
  • Data Privacy training: You will receive an email from the people here at the U who work with data privacy and security. This email will point you to the first of three mandatory online trainings. You must complete these trainings in a timely fashion and the sooner the better as we all come in contact with private data nearly every day. To get a head start or to find out more information on what is and isn’t private data you can visit the Privacy and Data Security website.
  • Work/Life & Wellness: The U provides cost-free programs such as Work/Life, Employee Assistance, and Employee Wellness to help you improve your personal and work life. For more info, go to the Wellness & Work/Life website.