By Felicia Cohen
Watching my friends graduate this past semester, jobless and bitter about moving home temporarily, really hit me. Though I still have two more years of college, that is certainly not my plan for when I graduate. Therefore, instead of going to the beach and hanging out with friends, I focused on finding an internship, working hands on in advertising and gaining experience that my peers may not yet have.
My summer at Triad did not disappoint. I jumped into advertising in ways my textbooks and courses do not. I was introduced to so many topics and ideas I never even knew existed. I learned about the significant behind-the-scenes work that goes into each project. I shadowed employees I admire and worked with clients I really connected with.
How do you make the most out of your advertising internship? Here my top 5 tips:
- Try Everything: Be as versatile as possible and try things. Find out what you like most, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Advertising is multi-faceted, so try something you haven’t done before. My background is in graphic design, so I tried working on account management, copywriting, and multimedia production. This is your chance to experiment. Don’t just stick with what you know.
- Ask: Questions are not just for clarification. Ask to shadow someone, to tag along to a recording session, to try something on your own, or really anything. Questions show that you are interested, not that you don’t get it. Questions also help you retain information if you are learning something new. Try not to be scared or intimidated. Everyone knows you are there to learn!
- Don’t Dwell: The job of an intern is not always glamorous. When there is down time, you may be asked to help out around the office. It can be a little boring, but it’s not the end of the world. Part of your job is to help out. Something else always presents itself eventually.
- Know Your Limits: If you are like me and rely on the summer as a source of income, do not be discouraged from finding an internship. Some of the best and most valuable internships may not be paid, but many schools will allow you to earn credits instead. Also, talk with your employer about your schedule. The manager at the store I work at was flexible and scheduled me for times I was not interning. I was able to gain both valuable experience and money for next year.
- Stay Involved: Don’t take it personally, but sometimes full-timers forget that interns are there. They are busy folks! Check in from time to time to see if there is anything you can do. You may also want to have a fallback project, something you can work on when you don’t have something else going on.
Interning at Triad confirmed that I want to go into advertising. I tried so many different things this summer, from software proposals and web advertising to article writing. I saw how to run a photo shoot and how to fit an entire radio script into fifteen seconds. I sat in on meetings and conference calls. I saw projects start as ideas and end as successful campaigns.
This value of my experience at Triad cannot be replicated. I look forward to applying my new practical knowledge to my studies next year.