Go to a shop and hold the knives in your hand.
Ask what your school/job recommends as well (they may have a list of pieces they expect you to bring). If not, start with a 8" Chef's Knife and 3-3.5" Paring Knife. Get a good solid forged set that feels comfortable.
Then build from there.
Nick ~ "Egg whites are good for a lot of things; lemon meringue pie, angel food cake, and clogging up radiators." - MacGyver