I am currently an Events Marketing intern for graduate-jobs.com.
When I first got my internship I was so excited purely for the fact someone was finally giving me a chance. Then I thought "hang on, I will only be an intern, will I get anything out of this?" I'v e got to commute into London, and so on and so on. I took another look at what was to be involved in my internship and this reassured me that I would at least be gaining some good experience.
I generally like to be thoroughly prepared for most situations, so I dove in and read copious amounts of information regarding the company, what to expect, how to dress and what I needed to have with me. So all in all I felt quite prepared for my first week, but what I didn't anticipate was the emotional and psychological responses that starting the internship would have on me. The work itself was fine, but suddenly everything I thought I had been sure of in myself started to waver. With this in mind, I have put together 5 key things that I have experienced so far that I feel would be good to prepare fellow and future interns for …
1. You will feel like you know nothing and that's okay.As a graduate landing an internship, you will feel a certain degree of confidence in your knowledge and ability. Then you join an established business full time and you soon realise that you have only have a minimal amount of the knowledge that you need. Although this can initially be hard to handle, it then becomes time to accept it and start learning as much as you can in order to gain as much as possible from the experience.
2. The smallest things can go a long wayOccasionally it may seem that the work you're doing isn't hugely significant but you will soon realise that even something you consider to be a somewhat unimportant task such as reformatting a document or doing some filing can make a big difference. It could be that you provided another member of the team with the time to do something essential, or that document you amended ends up being much more effective on a client. It is important not to underestimate the value of the work that you do, how you can contribute to the team and what you can gain from it.
3. Get used to constructive criticism and not knowing betterThis may sound negative, but is actually a great lesson (Luckily a module I took at university prepared me somewhat for this.) If you feel like you don't seem to be sailing through everything with flying colours remember that:
- You are new to the company and it is okay to be playing catch up for a while
- The workings on an actual company can be vastly different to that project you did at uni.
- In the end all of this just gets you used to pushing yourself harder to succeed and start to really understand what is expected from you in the working world.