Tuesday, February 19, 2013

An Intern of all Trades

At my first internship, I remember feeling as if I had to be a little bit of everything to everyone in the office. I would sit through weekly staff meetings, and it seemed that I would be assigned to help out on projects that often were completely separate of one another. One of my favorite things about interning at such a diverse agency was getting to see and help with projects for so many different clients. As exciting as it was, it was easy to feel overwhelmed. Staff meetings were only held once weekly, meaning on Monday I could be assigned something to do for Friday, which could be easily forgotten by Wednesday. In situations like these, I found that I had to become a Jane, or Intern, of all trades. I had to learn to do a few things very well, including managing myself. Here are a few tips to help you become an intern of all trades:

Always keep a notebook, and write down everything- There is no such thing as an unimportant detail. When assignments are being given out or projects are being discussed, it is better to have too much written down than to be missing crucial pieces of information.

Be on time- Being on time can often mean being a little early in the intern world and it definitely means never being late. Show up with enough time to get yourself settled and prepared so that you aren’t scrambling when it’s time to get started. If you have to commute, be sure to map out enough time to get there, and plan to be delayed along the way.

Ask questions – Don’t wait until the hour an assignment is due to ask for clarity. Review what work needs to be done ahead of time, and ask for help as you go along.

Be invested – Take the time to do a little research on the clients you are working with. The more you know about what you’re doing, the more likely you are to be passionate about it.

An internship is your chance to gain real professional experience. The more you put into your internship, the more you will get out of it!

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