My Life as an Intern

Last week was my final week as an intern at Mediaplug, a web development company in Noblesville.  Over the course of 11 weeks, my job description  was constantly evolving.  I began my summer researching the local web development market and gathering video clips to make into entertaining content for the company site.  By the end of the internship, I was link building, writing blog posts, and doing other search engine optimization work for a start-up golf instruction company called The Golf Professors.  Some people would have gotten frustrated by the constant change, but I found it to be an opportunity to improve my flexibility and adaptability and learn a few things while I’m at it.  I figured I would share a few of these lessons/learning experiences (or whatever you want to call them) from my internship.  Perhaps there are a few that you can relate to from your own experiences either with an internship or starting out in a full time job for the first time.

1) Always say yes to opportunities to meet new people. The most interesting and arguably the best aspect of my internship was meeting and getting to know new people through the networking events I attended.  There were times when I didn’t feel like going out to an event because it was far away or there were only one or two people I knew.  Yet, I forced myself to go and was able to improve my ability to converse with total strangers and I made friends with a few awesome people while I was at it.

2) Write everything your boss tells you down on paper.  This one was hard for me at first because I was used to using a syllabus in the classroom or a crew handbook in the workplace.  Not having anything reminders of what you need to accomplish for the day doesn’t help.  Taking some extra time to jot down what you’ve been told makes a huge difference.

3) Look for outside learning opportunities. Sometimes you’ll have some extra time to learn about something that may help you do your job better.  This summer I was able to get my Inbound Marketing University certification from Hubspot during my free time.  It really helped me work smarter as an intern.

4) Embrace autonomy as a way to gain experience. Most places I’ve worked have a very strict regiment of how they do things.  While I understand that this process is usually proven to work well, I think it can sometimes limit employees in what they contribute to an organization.  Worse yet, it can discourage them from doing their best work.  Being able to choose how to best utilize my time has allowed me to learn how to work more efficiently and effectively.

There is a lot more that I could talk about with my internship, but I’ll leave it at that.  All and all it was a good experience and I’m glad I did it.  Special thanks to Will and Nicole at Mediaplug for bringing me aboard for the summer.

3 Comment

  1. This is a great post my friend.

    1. I love that you are able and willing to go out and meet new people. You will find that no matter where you go or what you do in life, being able to meet new people is going to get you anywhere you want to go. The events you attend you are taking full advantage of. And that is something you can’t teach.

    2. If you really write down everything your boss says, good for you. I am getting advice every day from people, and while I might not write it all down, I listen and I learn. That is a noble trait to have.

    3. I am, thanks to you, starting and am going to finish the Inbound Marketing University certification. Gary Vaynerchuk also suggested it. By the way, he has never heard you! (I did ask, he laughed and said, “No, not yet.”)

    4. I am hitting that same glass ceiling at my job. I have so many ideas, and most are so far outside the box they are laughed at and pushed aside. Regardless, I keep my head down, do my job, and I will eventually come out on top. That is how it has to be or this is all worthless.

    Thanks for sharing this experience Steve. I enjoyed reading it. I wish you luck in your next venture!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jay Mattingly and Steve Hill, Jenn Lisak. Jenn Lisak said: FYI…this rocks. Good advice, young padawan. RT @epiclysteve: New post: My Life as an (epic) Intern. http://bit.ly/bjn9t0 […]

  3. Great advice, not just for interns but anyone making the transition from school to the workplace or from a large corporate structure to a more informal small business.

    Good luck back at school!

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