5 “Getting Started” Tips For New Interns
I had no idea what to expect when I got offered an internship at Optify this summer. I had spent the last 5 months living in NYC and interning at a large advertising agency. During my two weeks I got a crash course in search engine optimization, search engine marketing, HTML/CSS, and learned how to use Optify’s Inbound Marketing Suite. Wow. It seems like a lot looking back on it, but at the time I didn’t have time to realize how daunting of a task it was.
Two weeks ago I would never have imagined that I would know as much as I do today, and everyday what I know grows exponentially. One of the values of on the job learning versus classroom learning is that you are able to practice skills as you learn them with real repercussions. You are also learning at an extremely accelerated pace. At school it would take an entire class dedicated just to search engine optimization, but at Optify it takes considerably less time, the material is more engrained in my mind, and I go so much more in depth. To me, the most exciting aspect of all this training is how relevant it all is. I am learning so I can be a benefit to the Optify family, but I’m also going to be able to take all of these skills I’ve honed and use them wherever I go in my career.
That being said, I would like to give five tips that would be helpful for interns starting out somewhere new:
- Come in with an open mind. Whether this is your first internship or you’ve already got a few lines on your resume, it’s important to keep an open mind. I found myself comparing silly little things like the chairs or office décor. Although those are insignificant, they could lead to comparisons that end up detracting from the quality of your work.
- Don’t assume anything. Ask a lot of questions.You have no idea if something’s supposed to be that way or if that’s how things are done. Asking questions early on can prepare you for tasks you might face later.
- Take notes. Writing everything down and making sure your notes are accurate and detailed can reduce the chances of you making a mistake later on and can guarantee that you won’t have to ask how to do something twice.
- Learn names and meet as many people as possible. Meeting people in your office is a great way to reduce the anxiety of being the new guy and creates connections with people that you might need to rely on for help later on. Learning (and remembering!) the names of people you meet is less of an intern lesson, and more of a life one. Get down the art of name remembering now so you won’t blow it later in life when it really matters.
- Embrace mistakes. Nobody wants to make them, but it’s bound to happen. Making a mistake is one of the best ways to learn and move forward. Just don’t make the same mistake twice, or you may start to see some of your responsibility being taken away.
I believe that an internship is no longer just a good idea, but a necessity to furthering your education and preparing you for a future career. I am pleased with what I have learned so far, but am incredibly excited to share with you where I go, what I do, and all the laughs, bumps, and lessons learned along the road.