Often times, interning is the first working experience college students get in their specific field of study. At my school, Bentley University, internships are held in incredibly high regard and are pretty much considered essential to complete before you graduate. I am currently a junior, majoring in marketing with minors in management and psychology, and I started interning with MaxExposure Social Media about three months ago. Prior to starting my own internship, I had always just thought of an internship as a way to get connections for a job later on, or something that would look good on a resume. After just three months I have learned internships provide so much more than just career connections.
In my internship, I am responsible for writing and editing blogs for MaxExposure, responding to customer comments and reviews on clients’ social media accounts, completing social media performance analyses, and I am currently starting on website design. In just three short months, I have improved my writing skills, as well as learned the proper ways of communicating with customers. I have an increased understanding of all of the responsibilities involved in marketing, and the importance each task holds to a company's success.
Aside from all of the task-specific skills I have gained, I have also communication and organization skills that will help me to succeed all throughout my career. Below I have listed the top three most important things I have learned throughout my internship with MaxExposure:
Communication is KEY
With this being my first internship, as well as my first time working while being in school, keeping constant communication is essential. Sometimes my schoolwork can be rather daunting, and I have had instances when I did not properly communicate that with my boss and other coworkers. After talking it over with my boss I realized had I communicated that I was feeling overwhelmed from the very beginning, the work could have been completed more efficiently and on top of that, I wouldn’t have felt so overwhelmed. Consistent communication with your boss and coworkers is extremely important in any internship or job; this realization and lessons I have learned through lack of communication will benefit me throughout my entire career.
SCHEDULE! SCHEDULE! SCHEDULE!
Although right now I am juggling school and work, in the future I will be juggling adult life and work, so learning how to multi-manage and effectively schedule right now will benefit me so much in the years ahead. Work will throw curveballs at you, just as life and school will, so learning how to complete planned tasks efficiently and allowing extra time to account for unplanned tasks is extremely important to your success.
Whether this be done by setting alarms or creating checklists, having a plan on how to handle curveballs and pop-up situations is important to time management and ensuring everything that needs to get done does! Working for a small business and witnessing the constant juggling act between work and life responsibilities has been eye opening. One time for example, my boss’ cat got sick so she had to leave the office and take him to the vet. She immediately told me to call her clients whom she had conference calls with to reschedule. Knowing how to schedule (and reschedule) to account for possible curveballs is essential to maintaining a successful career.
You get what you give
Like any job, you get out of internships what you put into them. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending tons of time on your work, but putting high quality effort into it. If you maintain focus and try your hardest to produce the best work you can, you will learn more in return and end up being more skilled, and therefore more successful. Acknowledging this will also help motivate you to work harder and focus more, therefore improving your overall work ethic.