The Intern Insider: How to Make the Most of Your Internship
Posted: April 4, 2017
Having a chance to intern for VisionPoint Marketing has been one of the greatest experiences in my growing professional career. In only two months, I’ve learned skills that my college classes couldn’t teach in four years, and I’ve found myself working on things I didn’t see myself enjoying (information architecture is cooler than you think).
This agency provides so much opportunity for an intern to grow, and it can be a bit overwhelming when you first start. Questions such as “What do I do?” and “Who do I talk to?” can come up and that’s okay, it’s purposefully tailored into the experience. Find yourself in this situation? Here are a few things you can do to make sure you hit the ground running and really take advantage of your time here:
Learn About the Agency
You may have had a chance to learn a little bit during the interview process, but that won’t cut it now. You’re officially part of the team, so it’s time to do some homework. Go on the website and really learn the Vision Points, read through the blog posts (like this one), familiarize yourself with the agency’s processes, ask for project proposals, and ask thoughtful questions. One of the quickest and easiest ways to finding out what you want to do here is understanding what they do here.
Set S.M.A.R.T Goals
You understand the business, now what? Now it’s time to set some goals. You’ll work on creating goals with your mentor, but don’t stop at “I want to learn X, Y, and Z.” Take it a step further by creating goals that are S.M.A.R.T, which stands for:
With the S.M.A.R.T. approach, you’ll turn aspirations into a series of actionable steps, which ensures you’ll actually achieve your goals. Ask yourself what part of the company you want to learn more of and build your goals around that curiosity. Your experience will be much more rewarding once you know where exactly you want to direct your energy.
Become a Yes Man/Woman
One of the first things I told myself when starting this internship was to say yes to every opportunity, task or request that the team asked of me, regardless of what it was. Transfer contacts? Got it. Do some research? Of course. Grab coffee? No problem.
Two things happen when you say yes to everything:
- You show the team your willingness to help and that you’re not above any tasks (a Vision Point!)
- You may get a chance to experience something you wouldn’t think you’d be interested in
Embrace everything that comes your way and see it as an opportunity for growth, even if it is just getting coffee!
Learn About What You Want
If there is one thing I could convince you of, it would be this: learn what YOU want to take out of this experience. Don’t be afraid to poke and prod when trying to find out what part of the company you want to be involved in. Ask thoughtful questions about what everyone does and decide what you think is interesting. Maybe it’s creating marketing and media plans, maybe it’s writing project proposals, or maybe it’s information architecture (I’m really selling this one hard).
And whatever you decide to do, make sure you take ownership of it. Ask if there’s anything related to it you could help with, or assign yourself projects and ask for feedback! This internship will provide you with all the tools to succeed, but it’s up to you to utilize those tools.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: this is an amazing internship. The process, the product, and the people are all phenomenal, and I couldn’t be more grateful for this experience. I hope you that by the end of your time here, you feel the same way I do.
Interested in an internship with VisionPoint? Check out our currently open internship positions.