I rarely feel that I am the best candidate to give advice. Maybe my limited experience is what qualifies me to write about this topic, otherwise my tips may not be realistic or helpful. You be the judge!
I am currently finishing up my first week as the digital marketing intern for Amplified Digital and reflecting back I would like to offer some advice to my peers that may be starting an internship soon. Like I said, maybe I’m not qualified but I’m going to give it a shot.
Here’s seven tips that I think can make your first week of internship one for the books:
- Outline your Expectations — Meet with your supervisor and determine not only what they expect of you, but what you are hoping to get out of the internship. This can potentially be done prior to your start date, but if not be sure find some time in your first week to lay this out.
- Make a to-do list — This will keep you organized and minimize the potential for oversight. The worst feeling is thinking you’re forgetting something. Make an effort to eliminate that possibility! It’s also extremely satisfying to cross tasks off when they’re complete, give yourself a little feeling of accomplishment! If you tend to lose your lists, make an electronic one. Many email programs allow you to make a task list as soon as the email hits your inbox.
- Use a calendar — If you’re crazy like me, keep both an electronic calendar and a paper planner. This assists in one of the biggest concepts of your college and intern experience: time management. Look over your meetings before you leave the night before, and again when you arrive in the morning. Be sure you allot yourself enough time to prepare for those meetings if you haven’t already and to be prompt. (If time management is difficult for you, check out this blog on how I conquered it last year. Click Here)
- Don’t underestimate yourself — Yes, it is normal to feel nervous. No, that doesn’t mean you’re not qualified. Chances are they wouldn’t have chosen you if they didn’t think you could get the job done. It is important that some things don’t come easy to you, because then you might not be learning! Step out of your comfort zone.
- Ask questions — Clarify exactly what is expected for each project you work on. It is more efficient to ask questions along the way than to have to complete the same project twice because there was a misunderstanding. This also shows initiative and keeps you from isolating yourself from the rest of the group.
- Reflect on your experience — Write about what you are learning every week in a journal or blog. It is important to contemplate all that you are gaining. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in completing projects, but take time to reflect on what you are learning from each and every project that you complete.
- Breathe — While an internship is very different from sitting in a classroom all day, getting out of your comfort zone is important! The concepts you are learning can not only be taught in a classroom, but be confident that you have all of the tools to make a successful contribution to the team.
These are just a few tips that I have drawn from my first week. This is my second opportunity to intern at Amplified and I am extremely excited to further my experience here. I’d say I’m pretty “amped”, if you know what I mean. Tune in next week for my next update!