Finding an internship is seemingly the second hardest thing to do in college, second to finding an actual job. I remember my freshman year ignorance on the importance of preparing for an internship. It seemed miles away, but eventually the time came when I needed to truly focus on how to reach my career goals. I wanted to find an internship that not only utilized my degree but also pushed me to try new things, while providing a personal experience that allowed candid dialogue. After countless hours of researching and networking, I found an amazing opportunity at A3 Creative as their Marketing & Communications Intern.
I was set up at my own desk and assigned different tasks to go over. It wasn’t too long until clients came in and I jumped on projects. What I realized instantaneously was that I needed to be confident and outspoken. Internships can easily turn into a waste of time if all you're doing is receptionist duties and basic social media posts, which are frequent problems for Marketing/Communications majors like me. I wasn’t going to let this potentially valuable experience go to waste and decided early that whenever I was bored I would make sure to let someone know I was available for work. I quickly picked up tips and ways to make the most out of my internship that I think every college student should consider when interning. Here are 5 things to always keep in mind:
- Find a mentor - Having someone to learn from is especially important. This person you should be able to talk freely with and who wants to see you succeed. Having a positive relationship with a mentor can also lead to many recommendations within or outside the company.
- Ask questions - Never be afraid to ask questions. That’s honestly the only way you are going to get the most out of your internship. Many times your boss will be too busy to actively give advice, but they don’t mind you asking them. Not only are you showing the company initiative, but you are actively pushing yourself to learn.
- Socialize - It is important that you create relationships with the employees you are working with for a numerous reasons. For one, you want to enjoy coming to work and seeing the people who surround you all day. Forming surface level relationships will not get you connections down the line. Make sure to go to the happy hours and office parties. Building positive relationships with your coworkers will form trust and better communication, which will lead to increased job satisfaction and performance.
- Speak up - Do not be afraid to give your opinion on a project. You are interning to learn but also to teach. Most interns are of an earlier generation than the current employees at the company. We have current ideas and tools that were taught in our college classes and it’s time to share those things. It is also important to be assertive but respectful. Your opinion may not be accepted but do not let that shy you away from giving it again.
- Ask for feedback - Your supervisors are always willing to give you feedback, and though it may seem scary it will be one of the smartest moves you make. You may never know that you were doing something wrong and some employers will never tell you unless you ask. They will just dust you off and figure you don’t care. Big companies, especially, could just hire someone else. Asking for feedback can also provide you with a jump of motivation. You may be praised for something that you thought wasn’t that important. Feedback can truly never hurt you. You can only grow from it.
SEE ALL POSTS