October 09, 2014 // Ozioma Onyekwere
How To Make the Most of an Internship
An internship can be instrumental in your success. Since early March, I have been working as a PR/Social Media intern for Piccirilli Dorsey while attending college, and I can say that during that time, my experience has not only enhanced the skills I already possessed, but helped me to develop new ones in the marketing and advertising field. My experience has also taught me some things about how to be a good intern, which I’d like to share.
Getting the Internship
When you set out to get an internship, here are few ways to put your best foot forward.
One of the key aspects in landing an internship is being confident in your abilities and skills. Confidence is not about boasting or bragging about who you are, but it’s about knowing that you are good enough and acting that way in a polite and well mannered fashion.
Marketing yourself means that you know how to take all of the attributes, skills and abilities that you possess and sell them to the employer. In other words, make them see your potential. The idea is to convince them that you are valuable enough to be a part of their company and an asset to their team.
One of the first questions I asked Micah Piccirilli, the creative director of Piccirilli Dorsey, when I sat down with him for my interview was, “What area of your business do you feel that you need help with?” The purpose for asking Micah such a question was to find out where or how I could be of assistance to him in improving his business. It also was to show him that I wanted to be an asset to him and his team.
Working the Internship
Once you’ve landed your internship, make the most of it by following a few guidelines.
Be a Sponge and Absorb Everything!
Remember, interning is an experience, so enjoy it, and absorb as much as you can. Ask questions and be a proactive part of team projects. Show interest in what’s going on in the office, and always be a helping hand. Ask “How am I doing?” and get as much feedback as possible from the experienced professionals around you.
Listen, Listen, Listen.
It’s important to remember that you are not as knowledgeable in the field as those around you, so always listen to advice when its given. Learning to listen is a skill in itself that can take you a long way in the work environment. It shows that you are willing to learn and grow from those around you. It will help you to better work with clients in the future.
Be a Part of the Team.
Though you are an intern, you are still part of the team. Show that you are invested in the success of the company. You may bring a different perspective to the team, so offer your ideas, but be mindful of doing so politely and respectfully. Outside the office, get to know coworkers and industry peers at networking events, after-work activities, team contests and special occasions.
Benefiting from the Internship
As an intern, your goal is to gain as much experience as possible to help you prepare for a career in your field. Make a mental note to always be a student and learn from the experts around you. Sit in on meetings if you can, take notes, ask questions, be helpful to everyone, be engaged. Make connections with as many people as possible, and above all, show gratitude for the opportunities you have to learn and grow alongside the professionals in your field.