- Time Management. Did I learn this in the first week at ARC? Nope, not at all. I did however learn it by the first two weeks. It was NOT easy meeting my supervisor's deadline, that she had to meet for the region, and still managing all of the social media profiles all within the 3 hours that I was in the office a day. Through my other two internships, I was completing 10 hours at each internship, taking classes, and working. Both required outside time commitments, that could not possibly be done during my 5 hours in the office each day, and trying to balance the separate assignments in my brain was not easy. This is where time management came in. I learned during my first internship that my agenda would be my best friend, the calender in my phone would become an extra lifeline, and telling my friends we'd have to hang out later became my favorite pick-up line.
- Little Things Matter. People may not tell you often that they are paying attention to everything, but they are. That spell check you forgot to do will be noticed, that 5 minutes late you came in without calling first will be noticed. That one day that you had a bad day and it was shown on your face...will be noticed. Not only will they be noticed but they will affect the type of recommendation you receive after. It will affect the type of things they have you do. If you don't get the assignment right or try to get it right, they will be hesitant to give you a bigger assignment, thus you won't move up to harder jobs that could prepare you for the real world. Let's be honest... is that really what you want out of an internship?
- Dress Like You Want It! Image is important! Dress for the career you want. Interning taught me not to dress like an intern rushing from class to class, but dress for a business meeting or an office. I don't wear heels, because I'm 6'2 but I will put on a suite and dressy flats. I have put on a collared shirt, and slacks. You dress for the way you want to be portrayed, regardless of the internship. You want them to take you serious? Dress Seriously.
- Pay Attention to Details. Pay attention to everything that your internship supervisor has you do. Take note on it, and remember it. These are real life things, things that you will have to do. As a PR intern I've learned how to manage social media, writing press releases (with a purpose), getting press releases published, meeting deadlines, been trained on different SEO softwares, and even something as simple as how to use a training software via web. These things will help you in the real world, and put you levels above your competition. The details are what the internship is for, they are what you decided to do the work for. Learn and apply them, because when you step across that stage, those details will matter.
- Use Your Internship to Make After-College Decisions. Last but not least, use your internship to decide if this is really what you want to do. Intern in more than one place in different fields. I have interned in non-profit, organization, social media, and even phone applications. They have taught me that their are somethings I like more than others, and some things that I will never try again. That is what it is for. It allows you to see what makes you happy and what you can see yourself doing with a career. That was my purpose for interning and I think that it has been met, and I cannot wait to see what comes from it.
I know that everyone interns for different reasons, and everyone learns different things. These are just my views and opinions. I love interning, and I believe it gives you real world experience. It gives you the motivation to keep going so that you can do what you love in a career you love. What are some things interning has taught you?