This summer, I had the pleasure of having my first official internship as a multimedia intern for a digital agency service that helps out nonprofits with data and technology. I’ll be completely honest: internships are not that fun, especially when your stipend is less than minimum wage (although luckily I was able to get a stipend at all). So, here are five main takeaways I got from my first internship.
1. Communication is key.
Working with people is never easy. This summer, I worked with another intern to do the media work and learning how to communicate with one another without interrupting or offending the other was extremely hard. Find a balance between being too abrasive and being too lenient because otherwise, nothing will get done.
2. You will be bored.
I thought with interning, I would be constantly swamped with work. This was sometimes the case, but I found myself having nothing to do half the time, and just watching the clock tick slowly until my eight hour day was up. Look for little things to do and ask for more work, but know that it is completely normal to feel a lull.
3. Too much of anything will make you sick of it.
Perhaps editing was just not my calling, but sitting for hours in front of Adobe Premiere made me not want to edit anything in my free time. It made me feel extremely bad about myself for sucking as a film student, but I think going from editing occasionally to editing hours a day for three months takes its toll and that’s okay.
4. Making mistakes is okay.
The second day of work, I lost the communal key card to the building. The second week, I thought I lost a 32 GB memory card. The third week, I tripped over the external hard drive with all pre existing files and deleted everything. I hardcore panicked at all of these things, but now looking back at it, I can barely remember that they happened.
5. Internships are all about experience.
You don’t have to love all the work you are doing all the time. You don’t have to love everyone you are working with. Know that everything is temporary, so make the most of your time and don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask to learn more.
Try to leave a good impression and know that hard work will get you a long way. People will come to respect you and hopefully that will give you great references for the future! But if we are going to be totally honest, I came to the conclusion that I think I would like to remain being a student for a while longer, not working four days a week for eight hours each.