I recently graduated in November 2017 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. For a very long time, my focus had been on my studies and achieving the best results I could. After writing my final exam paper, I was suddenly overwhelmed with excitement about joining the working world – and of course equally terrified of the unknown.
For me, I knew straight away that internships were the way to go. I wanted to use the first six months (potentially twelve months) of 2018, exploring different avenues and seeing what essentially “sticks”. For the first three months of the year, I interned at a Property Development Company and for the past three months I have been here, with Coco Creative.
Having spent the last 6 months interning, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the importance of internships as well as share a few tips about ‘how to get the most out of an internship’.
…and this is your chance to get involved, ask questions and step outside of your comfort zone.
my tips for maximising your internship
- Firstly, and most importantly, it’s not all about the money – this isn’t the most productive place to start, but unfortunately remuneration is a major factor influencing internship selection. I understand that ‘life’ is expensive, and that costs don’t stop accumulating but if you are in a position to, I’d definitely advise that you consider them all – paid and unpaid. It’s important to remember that an internship is an opportunity to learn – the money they pay does not change its value.
- Research is key – before you apply for an internship, make sure you understand ‘who’ you would be working for and ‘what’ they do. To me, this should be the biggest factor influencing a student’s choice of internship. Having studied a degree majoring in Marketing, I was keen to learn more about the digital world and social media. This lead me to apply for an internship with Coco Creative – I wanted to understand more about the digital marketing and they were the perfect team to do it with!
- The necessities – as with all commitments in life, show up on time and look the part. Once you have started your internship, make sure that you practice good time management skills and dress accordingly. I definitely feel that if you want want to be respected as an intern, this is a great place to start. I have really tried to value how I look and to arrive on time – hopefully this has shown my commitment to learn and that I appreciate being a part of a team.
- Treat the internship as if it was your dream job – this may sound silly but it really is the right attitude to have. Your work ethic and mindset should always be set on the end goal – whether it’s getting a good reference, receiving a permanent job offer or obtaining valuable experience. An internship is a building block to your dream job.
- Get involved – at first everything will seem quite overwhelming and unfamiliar but after some time, things will settle and this is your chance to get involved, ask questions and step outside of your comfort zone. If you truly feel like you have something interesting, or constructive to share, go for it!
- Constant feedback – I think that a successful internship experience offers multiple opportunities for discussion and feedback. Throughout my time here at Coco Creative, we have had regular internship review meetings as well as client strategy and marketing meetings. Internship review meetings are not only great for structuring internships but they’re also an opportunity to receive feedback on work and to learn about future company tasks that you could get involved in. Client strategy and marketing meetings are a fantastic opportunity to witness a team’s brainstorming process. Even if your contribution is minimal, listening to the “process” is learning!
- Expect a roller-coaster ride – this has certainly been the case for me at Coco Creative. Almost every day I have done something different, which has probably been the most satisfying part of my internship – one minute I’m making coffee for my bosses and the next I’m creating websites (or at least trying to). I’m loving learning and the journey of embracing the ‘new’ – whether it’s easy, hard, enjoyable or not.
Interning for the past few months has been an amazing experience. I have been very fortunate to work with such a supportive and encouraging team. I have loved growing my skillset and couldn’t have chosen a more positive and fun way to begin my corporate journey – thank you Coco Creative.