The scary word that college students hear over and over.
How do you get them? How do you stand out? What even is it?
On Tuesday, Oct. 22, UNT Ad Club had the opportunity to get the inside scoop on internships, straight from the pros.
With an intern panel of five current Mayborn Advertising students, the Ad Clubbers got to hear first hand about the experiences of an intern.
Here are a few key points to recap the meeting
The first question on every college student’s mind is…
“How do I get an internship?”
The key to obtaining the internship is…you guessed it…networking.
But don’t panic if you haven’t had a crazy amount of exposure to the professionals. The consensus was…LinkedIn and other job boards, such as UNT’s Handshake, are your friends. That said, don’t limit yourself to the screen. Shaking a hand and making those personal connections every chance you get are surefire ways to make yourself stand out and be remembered. That way, when your application rolls in, the agency will have a face and a personality to go with the name.
Be patient with yourself, and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
“It’s about luck and time and networking,” said grad student, Alexa Boggs.
What to look for in an internship
The first internship you get isn’t always the place of your dreams or even the position that you’ll likely end up in…and that’s okay!
According to our intern panel, the internship is a way to learn the client side of the industry and to get an up-close look at how the machine works from the inside. As an intern, you get to learn. Learn your art, and learn how to navigate relationships, challenges and conflict.
That said, it’s important to know what you value when searching for an internship.
“I want career development, not to just be looked at as the ‘intern’,” said Jessica Hamilton, a member of the panel.
Knowing your worth and knowing what you value are key factors when approaching a potential internship. An internship is a growth period that will slingshot you into a future career, or at the very least, give you applicable tools and experiences to take into post grad life.
Ultimately, you should search for a position with a company that will help you to grow and expand as a future professional. It’s an opportunity to learn how to be an asset to the company or agency you’re with.
“They were very inclusive,” senior, James Bersosa said of the agency he interned with this last summer.
“They really care about growing us into professionals.”
It wasn’t about having someone to go on coffee runs, but rather be shaped into an up-and coming-professional.
Mistakes can happen…and they will.
As an apprentice of your craft, you’re learning. And in learning, mistakes happen. The interns’ advice? Be thorough. Be aware.
When recounting a mistake made during her internship, a member of our panel explained that a misspelled name on a LinkedIn profile turned into a catastrophe when the client screen-shotted the mistake and sent it straight to her boss. The event was discouraging, though it taught her the importance of being thorough in her work.
“Double, triple check, yourself,” she said. “That’s going out to a client. You’re representing yourself.”
Make yourself stand out
In a sea of interns, it’s important to set yourself apart. But don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.
It’s all about personability. Go beyond the business related questions when talking to people at the agency, and ask about them. Show who you are beyond the resume.
“Create a connection,” James advised.
“I think that’s what really helped me through the program.” He explained that as an intern you may feel the need to keep your head down, but you shouldn’t be afraid to branch out and form relationships with the people around you.
In terms of your craft?
“Learn off the clock,” Jessica said.
Take the time to understand and get to know the people and the company that you’re working with. This way, you’re “not so much the intern, but the up-and-coming employee.”
A final note
Take a deep breath and keep moving forward from right where you’re at. The interns shared their experiences and opened up about what they would have done differently, all while laughing at their mistakes and mishaps.
You don’t have to have 12 years of experience to take the first steps toward your future goals. Mayborn offers a multitude of opportunities for networking and learning, and you don’t have to look too far to find them.
At the end of the day, focus on your own growth and improving yourself rather than comparing where you’re at to those around you. It’s all part of the learning experience.