My Internship Experience
I vividly remember sitting in my car, just minutes away from reporting for my first day as Strunk Media Group’s newest intern. I felt strangely similar to the way I did on my first day of college: nervous, anxious, and completely out of place. At that moment, I promised myself that I wouldn’t let my nerves get to me. As I walked into the office and met with my supervisors, I tried my best to hide my first-day jitters. When I sat at my new desk, I thought something to myself. No college lecture could have ever prepared me for this internship. For the first time, my work wasn’t just for the eyes of my professor to grade. Now it would be seen by co-workers, the public, and the many clients we serve. I wasn’t sure if I was ready.
Fast forward 3 months later.
As I was wrapping up my first semester here, I was luckily able to be offered to come back and intern again in the spring – an offer I couldn’t pass up on. I had grown to value being a part of a team, and I believed my time here had helped me grow professionally. However, I knew that I had much more to learn.
For college students like myself, we are learning every day. Whether the knowledge comes from our experiences spent with family, professors, co-workers, supervisors or friends, we are constantly growing and developing. Each year, we gain experience that we hope will translate into our future careers.
An internship gives us much more than just a resume boost. A good internship can lead to a full-time job, great references, and valuable experience that you can hold on to forever. It’s the hands-on experience that I believe helped me the most because it’s something you can’t get anywhere else. While college can give you the information, an internship allows you to actually go out there and do it for yourself.
One of the great aspects of an internship, I believe, is the feedback. It is impossible to learn without asking relevant questions. Don’t worry about feeling any less smart for asking plenty of questions; your supervisor won’t mind. Just remember to keep yourself flexible and open to new ideas as well. One of the things I enjoyed about my time as an intern was being able to try new tasks and take on different topics. Don’t be afraid to try new things; it takes the repetitiveness out of your work and gives you helpful skills that may come in handy during your future career.
The Experience Is Priceless
One of many college students concerns about taking on an internship is the money. While I know this affects everyone differently, it is important to realize that an internship isn’t for the money: it’s for the priceless experience and networking. My internship was unpaid for both semesters but I felt that I made up for the lack of money with gained knowledge in my field. Luckily, I was able to even to use my internship as class credit.
My degree didn’t require me to do an internship but I knew the benefits of doing one. These days, most employers are looking for college graduates to already have work-related experience. My internship gave me plenty of hands-on experience. For me personally, it was writing blogs, copywriting/editing and whatever other tasks I was given that day. No matter what your major is or whether or not you have to do an internship or not, the experience you will gain with an internship is immeasurable.
In my 8 months at Strunk Media, I was able to try new things all while being given the freedom to grow as a professional. But the work—meaningful as it was—was only a small part of what made my experience so special. The people I got to know were extremely helpful and their dedication to their jobs was extremely inspiring.
Now, as I leave for the last day of my internship, I feel much different than I did eight months ago when I stepped into the office as the anxious new intern. The jitters are gone and now I feel confident and excited about my future.