This blog has been the hardest to write for me by far. In part, the challenge stems from trying to sum up months worth of experiences is just a few paragraphs. Even more challenging, this post marks the end of my internship here with Experience Inc. In the past few days, I have been preparing myself for my departure, all of the while brainstorming a blog that I could go out on. Well here goes…
My internship at Experience has taught me more than I could have imagined. As the Social Media/Web 2.0 Marketing Intern, I feel my duties were diverse, and ever-changing. Sometimes it’s tough to recall everything I have taken in over the past months, but I feel that these are some of the most beneficial lessons I have learned.
What I’ve Learned:
- I’m not alone: Coming into this position, I felt that I had no idea where my career was going and I lacked confidence about what I could do and what I am really good at. My internship has definitely given me a better understanding of my skill set and where my career may take me, but most importantly, I’ve come to learn that I am not alone. This job has taught me that almost everybody is in my same position. Very few college students know what they want to do, and it is something that is simply not worth worrying about. Thanks to my I know that if I continue to work hard things will fall into place.
- To keep writing: This was huge for me. I have always enjoyed writing, and always felt that I was pretty good at it. Yet, what this position taught me is that I really didn’t have the writing skills I thought I had. Writing takes practice and I simply was not practicing enough. Writing for the web and writing your average research paper could not be more different. I had to learn to adapt a new tone with my writing, something that took a little getting used to. This position kept me writing something new everyday, and I can say that my writing has improved drastically.
- How to behave in the office: This being my first position in an office atmosphere, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. The environment here at Experience is quite relaxed, yet it taught me how to behave in the workplace. Simply working in the office and getting used to everything here has definitely prepared me for whatever my next position may be. Just observing the everyday events has taught me more about teamwork, and how people can come together to get things done. Although sometimes I have to remind myself to use my inside voice, I feel I’ve adapted to the office life relatively well.
- How to build my resume: Like I said, this internship has improved my skills a ton, both off paper and on paper. I didn’t realize it all of this time, but this position served not only as a positive learning experience, but a resume builder as well. I came into this with a resume that was basically naked, now I am leaving and I have lots of updating to do. My resume doesn’t need a makeover, it needs to be restarted from scratch, and that’s a good thing! I underestimated how much work I did that actually translates to my resume.
As I leave, I want to thank anyone who has been reading my blogs, and I’d also like to thank everyone here at Experience who has helped me out. This has truly been a great learning experience and I’ll be forever indebted to those who gave me a hand here. As far as your internship goes, remember to always be friendly, work hard, and ask questions. Always ask questions. Hopefully you come away from your internship with as much as I did. Thanks everyone, and enjoy your summer!
Internships are the cherries on top of the resume sundae. They can make any student stand out to colleges, future employers, and boyfriends’ parents (just as a cherry stands out to a starving young child in a brightly colored ice cream store, or excuse me, froyo—the new trend).
Internships are quickly becoming essential for any job and can offer a lot of experience to students hoping to get ahead. But how can you get the most out of yours? Well I personally learned six, yes, six, things on my own internship experience.
1. Speak up: Many times I would be sitting at my isolated desk with endless questions about what I was supposed to be doing. I was completely paralyzed in my chair because I was too afraid to walk around or bother anyone. I rarely moved from my desk the first few weeks, but I would have been much more efficient and happier if I had gotten up, asked my questions, and got back to work.
If you need help, just ask! It’s much easier than planning out a route to your boss’s cubicle, writing out a specific dialogue, and rehearsing it ten times. (True story).
2. Take on as much as you can: In the entire two months I was at my internship working for a newspaper, I only wrote three articles. I don’t know what the normal standards are for interns at publications, but I think I could have done more. I wish I would have asked for more work and when I was asked to contribute another article, I should have said yes.
Remember that the more you do, the more you have to show for the experience when you’re looking for another internship or, gulp, a job.
3. Work hard: This is an obvious one, but don’t waste time. You’re there to work, and they didn’t have to give you this opportunity. Make the most of your time and theirs.
4. Mimic your coworkers: I do not mean to play that game and repeat everything they say just to annoy them. I mean watch how they interact, how they talk, how they dress, and their repeated habits. For example, if you notice that everyone is always on time and takes punctuality seriously, you darn well better be there at 9:00 a.m. sharp, or earlier. You can learn a lot about office etiquette procedures from the ones who have been there for twenty years.
5. Talk with your coworkers: Coworkers have a lot of experience and they have obviously made it in that particular field. Ask them how they got this far and what advice they have for you. You could learn a lot and get some great ideas.
6. Be thankful: The best thing to do is send a handwritten note thanking them for the experience and opportunity to work with them. It’ll leave them with good thoughts about you and you can most likely refer to them for a recommendation later.
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