Navigating through the world of internships can be daunting. Which one will be the right one? Will the skills learned at this internship benefit me in the future? What industry am I interested in? There are so many opportunities to explore various paths that will help you decide what to eventually pursue.
Based on my previous, recent experience, I’ll share what I learned from my internships and factors you should consider when choosing one.
During college, I completed three internships, all in the communications
field but all focused on different aspects and industries. I was a social media
intern for a non-profit organization helping to prevent animal cruelty, a PR
intern at an agency with fashion and lifestyle clients, and an intern in the
advertising department of a publication for the food industry. I walked away
from each internship with valuable skills that I am grateful for and still use
today. When selecting your internship, consider whether or not you too will
glean these skills based on the role and responsibilities. Here are some takeaways
from my internships that you should consider when beginning your first
- I learned TECHNICAL
SKILLS. For instance, how to format professional emails, leverage online
tools to conduct research for a client and manage time wisely. Some internship
tasks will be more exciting than others, but you need to learn the basics
before you can do other tasks with maximum effort. Each task, no matter the
size, plays an important role in the bigger picture. (Bonus tip: Take notes each
time you learn a key technical skill so you can add it to your resume.)
- Explore DIFFERENT
INDUSTRIES not only to gain a greater sense of what you want to pursue in
your career but because it’s fun! People have a wide range of interests so you might
as well take the opportunity to try it all. I’m interested in animals, fashion
and food so I explored those industries with internships; however, I chose to
start my career in the tech space because it is an industry I find
ever-changing and challenging.
YOURSELF. Let your employer know the real you. It will help build a bond
and gain their trust. Some in the communications field are, ironically,
introverts, but having a friendly personality goes a long way in getting to
know your coworkers better and building connections you can leverage later in
- Always ASK
QUESTIONS if you are unsure of how to do something or don’t understand an
assignment. It is easier to get clarification when you start a task versus
completing an assignment and having to redo the whole thing later due to a
- I have to say, the most important thing I
learned while interning is to always BE
EAGER TO LEARN. Saying yes when asked to take on a task shows your employer
your interest and dedication to the company. Working on a new assignment,
sending an important email or attending a meeting provides insight into the
roles others have in the company.
- Last but not least, ENJOY your internship! Internships are a taste of the real world
and you should work hard but also take pride in what you do.
Now that you know what to get out of your internship, here
are a few things to consider when selecting one:
- The industry – Communication is broad and goes
across all industries so find one that excites you. From tech to fashion to
healthcare the possibilities are endless. Look for internships in an industry
you are passionate about or explore an industry you wish to learn more about.
- What skills will you learn? – Internships
provide the opportunity to expand your skillset and explore new areas within
your field. For example, if you want to focus on content creation, media
outreach or event planning, look for internships that list those tasks in the
- Company culture – Do the people working at the
company get along? Is it a friendly environment? Is it easy to talk to higher
level executives? Does everyone dress professionally or casually? Find a
company culture you could see yourself thriving in.
- Location – Where an internship is located can impact
where you build your network. If you want to live in a certain city in the
future, interning at a company based there can help you build a strong network
to guide you later on.
- Future opportunities – If you are close to
graduating or doing an internship post-grad look for an internship at a company
that could extend into a full-time position.
Interested in interning with us? Contact us today!