My takeaways as a summer intern: it’s more than just a resume builder
by Intern, on Aug 21, 2014
A few months ago, as I was interviewing for a summer internship position at WordWrite, I was asked why I wanted this internship. I shared that I love gaining real world experience as I always walk away learning more about the public relations industry, my professional goals and myself. Looking back, I would say I completely accomplished everything I hoped to when I answered that question. So, as I sit here trying to ignore the fact that my internship is almost over, I know this internship has provided me with more than just an extra line on my resume or work samples for my portfolio. There’s no doubt that internships are vital to a college student’s career, because the experiences you have in one summer are unlike anything you get in a classroom. Although I’ve learned more than I could have imagined, I have four major takeaways to take to school.
Always ask questions
Summer internships allow students to shadow the professionals they are working for. Through their years of experience, work in the field and internships of their own, they’ve learned a lot and you’d be crazy not to take advantage of their knowledge. When you’re given the opportunity, don’t forget to ask questions. Ask about anything, whether it’s project related or about their career. You can never ask too many questions, and you’ll be glad you did when the summer is over.
Learn from the little things
With each assignment be sure to absorb the information, task details and edits after you’ve completed your work. You can learn a lot from one project, even if it’s just drafting a social media post. You might not have known that a certain time works better than the initial time you scheduled it for, or it may be a case that you learn to develop the company’s voice instead of a variation of your own. Soak in every project and every detail and always write it down. When you’re thinking about something you did months later, it will be nice to look back at a spreadsheet or document to see exactly what you did and when. No matter what you’re doing, write it down or save it. Every little task or lesson adds up, giving you a wide variety of knowledge.
Remind yourself to focus on the big picture
Although you should put all of your effort into each project you’re given, it’s also important to step away from your desk and take note of everything else going on. You can learn a lot by listening. At the end of the day, the conversations you have with the many skilled professionals you’re working for will probably mean the most to you. Whether it’s a work related conversation or not, the relationships built by sharing stories is immeasurable. The time I spent getting to know each WordWriter was easily my favorite part of my summer.
Start each day with enthusiasm and a positive attitude
I’ve learned that it pays off to come in each day with a smile on your face. When you feel happy and productive, your day will go a lot better and the work you produce will benefit from your attitude. My positive attitude and enthusiasm to be here is half of what made my internship so great. I can’t think of a single day that I didn’t want to be sitting at my desk and working with the WordWrite team. I fed off of their passion and I hope they fed off of mine. Everything is much better when you do it with a smile on your face.
Yes, I’ve gained A LOT of great portfolio pieces this summer, and for that I’m grateful. I feel like I’ve gotten to do everything I wanted and more. Beyond the pieces of work I’m bringing to school, I’ve learned from seven amazing professionals and one fellow intern. This summer was more than just another way to practice what I’ve learned in class. I’ve found a family within the WordWrite team who have helped me move one step closer to paving my path in life.
Thank you to the WordWrite family for making this an unforgettable summer. I’m grateful for everything you’ve taught me, both about the industry and about myself. I only hope that every intern can walk away with the same takeaways as I have.