I have had my fair share of internships, sometimes multiple at a time. For me, it was about getting experience. I was never looking for thee job that I would want after I graduated. That was, until I found my current internship at Capture Marketing. Getting this internship is one of my biggest accomplishments because for the first time I thought to myself, this is what I want to be doing as a professional.
Getting an internship, though, can be quite a stressful ordeal. It means a new place, new people, and a new mindset all in a short turn around. All of this at once can feel overwhelming. I admit that once I secured my internship, my mind began flooding with fears and worries.
Now that the “start” of my new job is behind me, I wanted to share some keys tips that helped in my transition and quelled my worries, in case you are about to embark on a new internship.
Pop the champagne! You got hired and that’s amazing news that deserves some celebration! Don’t be dragged down by what-if’s that could so naturally cloud your mind. Your attitude will affect how people see you and more importantly, how you do your job. You want to go in with a good attitude. When you are enthusiastic about what you do, people see it and it makes them more excited to work with you. How you see your job starts with you. If you’re unsure about your purpose there, it shows, and you don’t want to give the impression that you can’t handle a new challenge. More important, excitement, enthusiasm and openness cause you to be more willing to learn.
Sure, when I started at Capture, I was nervous. I will not deny that. This was different from any other job I had done. But even going into it not knowing much, I was beyond excited just to be here. I think excitement is like a contagion and when you focus on the good and exciting parts, you forget about the nerves and just enjoy what you do.
You’re passed the hardest part – the interview. The decision is made; you have the job. Now, you have to prove to them why they made the right choice. It can seem like a big task but try to remember – and this is the important part – they selected you for a reason.The interviewer saw potential in your skills. You have experience, so do what you know, and then some. Don’t waste time second guessing yourself, which tends to be the hardest part when we get thrown into a new position.
When I first got this job, I worried about not being prepped enough in InDesign, or my writing skills not being as good as I think they are. It’s true, one can always strive to do better. However, it’s important to be proud of what you’ve already accomplished and be ready to move forward standing firmly on that foundation. All that worrying has to stop because it prevents you from reaching your highest potential.
You cannot just take a back seat. If you want to be offered a full-time position when this all comes to a close, you HAVE to take initiative and show you are a unique asset to the company. That cannot be done by just doing what you’re told. Give yourself some credit – you have good ideas and the resources to make them happen. Don’t be intimidated because you’re coming in as “just an intern.” You’re much more than that, so go beyond what is expected or you will fall in the background.
From there you can start to build relationships with coworkers. Connecting with others and sharing ideas not only allows for a better learning environment, but it opens the door to receiving advice later on and maybe even a job.
No matter how much you’ve researched, there are going to be things you don’t know when starting an internship. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. They are what is going to help you move forward in your job. Not only do they show you care, but your questions illustrate that you are willing to learn.
Before Capture, I had never worked in an agency-type setting before. I had some skills in communications and marketing, so I knew the basics of some things and was more seasoned on others. However, with this job came new responsibilities that I had never been trained in. I found myself asking question after question and then constantly apologizing for not knowing. But I soon found that they expected questions from me. No one expected me to come here knowing the answers already.
That was something I had to learn on my own. So yes, I asked a lot of questions, but because I wanted to learn. I wanted to be able to go back on my own and do the best job possible. Asking questions does not make you incompetent, it leads to innovation, and it makes you a better intern.
At the end of the day, an internship is a learning experience. You want to make sure every action taken is done to better your learning experience. You’re setting yourself up for your future, whether that’s at this company or another. Don’t miss any opportunity that is given to you to learn.