Internships play a major role in a student’s academic career, with many students seeking internship opportunities to gain experience in their field of study. Finding an internship can be difficult, but actually being a successful intern and excelling at work is sometimes even harder. Here are a few things that I’ve learned while working as a Client Services Intern that will help you rock your internship!
Know what you want to learn at your internship before you start. Creating goals can help you to stay focused and career oriented. These goals can often be defined with your internship coordinator and sometimes change throughout the internship period. Try and stick to your goals throughout program, but don’t worry if you start to work on something new or exciting and have to adapt!
At Promoboxx, I make semester-long goals as well as weekly goals. Once a week I meet with my supervisor and she helps to guide me in reaching achievements that are realistic and aligned with my interests. Client Services interns track all of their weekly progress in an ongoing doc. This is not only useful for program coordinators to measure the effectiveness of your efforts, but will be a huge help in the future when you pursue other jobs/opportunities and need to show off your achievements.
After all, this is a learning experience! Just make sure your questions have substance and that you try to understand concepts on your own before asking. Internships are not expected to be easy, but questions are usually always encouraged.
…(or two!) within the organization and ensure that you are creating meaningful relationships with your colleagues. Internships sometimes lead to job opportunities, therefore, you should make the effort to get to know your colleagues and keep a positive attitude.
Me (left) and our Client Services internship coordinator, Sofia.
One of my favorite aspects of working at Promoboxx is that we are a small community. This allows us to create strong relationships with our colleagues. Everyday we walk to a local restaurant or supermarket to get lunch and every Friday we have weekly Client Services lunches. Through these interactions, I have gained many friends who are also my mentors. They are willing to take the time to teach me about a new marketing concept or social media tool and allow me to take on new projects under their guidance. Mentors can be very helpful and knowledgeable resources within your work community!
Gaining experience at your internship not only helps to build your resume, but can also be a great portfolio enhancer. I recommend getting out of your comfort zone and working on new things. Usually, the outcome is well worth the hard work. By accepting new challenges, you are essentially becoming a leader. To help you think about what type of new projects you can take charge of, think about where your interests overlap with the needs of the company. Ask yourself, “Where can I make an impact?”
While I was interning, my supervisors were constantly asking me ways that we could improve the Internship Program. I thought about how there was no reference manual to look at when I had questions. This thought helped to guide me in creating the first Internship Training Manual. This project took about 2 months, but it is now used by all Activation Team interns. After finishing this project, I decided to create more helpful manuals for Client Services. These manuals are referenced often and are considered very helpful tools! (Right: A training manual I created on engaging our user personas.)
…and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Always remember that this is a learning experience, and a lot of responsibilities will be learned during your Internship. Making a mistake always teaches you a lesson, so don’t get discouraged! Try not to feel overwhelmed if you don’t think you have experience in every aspect of the job and remember that you were chosen because you are a fast learner and ready to take on new responsibilities. Your supervisor will think highly of you if he or she sees that you are working through your difficulties and making the best of your experience. Stay positive and focused!
Finally, make sure you have fun! With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a better understanding of your field of study, new skills (both work-related and social), and tangible accomplishments!
Interested in an internship at Promoboxx? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information! (Pssst! We are hiring!)