Looking for and having an internship is an amazing and unique experience, filled with highs and lows, times of learning and mistakes and many unknowns. After having an amazing internship at Estes Digital for the past five months, I have pretty much gotten into the daily routine of intern life. With this knowledge and minimal experience, I can offer tips that I wish I knew and that every intern should know when applying for and having an internship.
Tip #1: Don’t give up searching for an internship.
I began searching for my Fall 2018 internship in the Spring of 2018. Yes, you read that correctly. I already had my list of every agency I wanted to work for, and I religiously checked job postings for months and months and months. However, internships are a very competitive and sought after commodity, and no matter how prepared you are, your plan will not always work out. At one point, I had completely given up on my search after not receiving a position that I had really wanted. Little did I know, something even better was waiting around the corner.
Tip #2: Try things out of your comfort zone.
Although at the ripe age of 21 you may “know” what you want to do with your life, or what you don’t want to do for that matter, one of the biggest lessons I learned is the importance of trying something new. I went into this process seeking an Account Planning internship at a large agency. However, life usually has alternate plans than ours, and what I ended up with was a Digital Advertising internship at a small startup agency. Although it was not my original plan, I could not be happier with how my experience has turned out. I had never before considered Digital Advertising as an interest of mine, but it is something I have come to truly enjoy doing. Exploring and accepting new options is how you truly find out skills you never knew you had.
Tip #3: Prioritization is key.
As an intern, at least for me, taking on every task and job possible sounds like the must-do. However, you must know yourself and your own work limits. Having an internship also means having to balance your school work and life work on top of that. Making lists, keeping a planner and prioritizing your time is essential to staying on top of your responsibilities and not going crazy in the process.
Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
This is something that I have always struggled with. I have this internal desire to be perfect and amazing at everything I do, and I have a fear of messing up in front of others. However, as an intern, you are there to learn and to grow as a professional. With that, you will do things you haven’t done before and you will mess up; it is a fact of life. Mistakes are okay, and any mistake is an opportunity to learn from—just don’t make the same mistake twice, and especially don’t make it when you get out into the real world!
Tip #5: Be confident in yourself.
Working on tasks that are unfamiliar to you, going to client meetings, and attacking projects on your own can be a very daunting challenge as an intern. However, it is vital to have confidence in yourself and your abilities. You were chosen for that position for very good reasons, and it is important to believe in yourself and your work.