By Anjelica Kinney, Intern, R&J Public Relations
“What do you want to do with your life?”
As a recent college graduate, this is one of my most frequently asked questions, and to be honest, it is the one question that I have come to really despise. Although it’s a valid question, it’s one that I, and most recent grads, don’t necessarily have an answer to just yet. Sure, it helps to know what field you want to pursue a career in, but how are you supposed to know what exactly you “want to be when you grow up” if you have no experience to base it on?
An internship is a great way to get involved in your desired industry and not only gain experience, but also learn skills that will help you blossom into a young professional. For the past 3 months, I have been interning here at R&J and these are just some of the tips and lessons I’ve learned. However, keep in mind that these tips aren’t exclusive to just interns; these lessons can be transferred to the career of any young professional.
- Ask Questions — Never be scared or intimidated to ask questions. Your fellow colleagues will be more than happy to explain something to you. It’s better to ask questions and get the task done correctly, than to waste valuable time trying to figure out the task because of a stubborn attitude. Asking the right questions also shows your supervisor that you’re curious and open to learning new skills and techniques that the internship has to offer.
- Always Say Yes — For the sake of an internship, always consider yourself to be a “yes (wo) man.” If your supervisor asks you to pick up the lunch for a company meeting or deliver a piece of paper to a client, always say yes. First of all, these are the kind of not-so-glamorous tasks that come with being an intern. Second, showing your supervisor that you can perform these small tasks without an argument will show that you can be trusted with any type of assignment, and could lead to more responsibility in the future.
- Build Relationships — For some, internships are only a temporary experience, but for others they can evolve into a permanent position. Regardless of the duration of your internship, never hesitate to get to know the people around you. Not only will your colleagues be able to help you with work and give you advice, getting to know your co-workers can allow for an overall more positive and effective experience. Lastly, you never know what colleague may know a CEO at your dream company; it never hurts to be friendly to everyone!
Not everyone is so lucky to find a full-time position doing something they love directly after college, so for many an internship is a step in the right direction. Internships will help to build experience, build relationships, and ultimately teach you new skills and techniques that will only be an asset to yourself and your career.
What are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned in your previous internships? Share your thoughts below!