Internships provide great circumstances for students to grow and gain experience in their desired field, while allowing them to showcase and fine-tune their own skills. That’s why, here at Glint, we believe in affording interns with opportunities that will help them succeed in their classes and in the post-college world. Glint’s current student intern, Meredith Redfern, provided insight into gaining confidence by working in an agency and key takeaways:
Spending my summer as an intern at Glint has taught me more than I have learned in a classroom over the last few years. Professors constantly say in their lectures that you will need to know this and that when you get a job, but don’t elaborate on any given topic the way that Glint did. There were several industry terms such as SEO or request for proposal that I was aware of from the classroom but did not know much about until I got into the agency and was given the opportunity for hands-on learning.
The biggest challenge I had to overcome during my internship was learning how to write from a business perspective instead of for a grade. Although the same principles apply, such as structure, grammar, thought and writing style, it’s a different way of thinking. I had to think in terms of an agency perspective, what we believe or how we feel about a situation, presenting a professional tone and keeping negativity out of it. My first blog had more personal bias in it than I realized. I wrote strong statements about the topic that I was covering that could have turned away potential clients. In scholarly papers, the goal is to get an “A” and give your opinion. In the business world, each company has their own standards and protocols (their “opinion”) requiring more informed, concise and selective wording. Papers for class follow a template and a grading rubric. In the business world, there is no rubric, only the desire to bring clients in, support their business and be easy to work with. If a business is not aware of, and sensitive to, its clients and potential customers, you can easily drive business away.
By the end of the summer, I have more confidence in writing blogs and press releases, and know the difference between writing for industry professionals as opposed to writing to get an “A” in class. Along with gaining confidence in my writing, I also gained confidence with my presentation skills and talking to clients. Tagging along to a couple of meetings helped give me an insight on how to approach topics and situations that a client may face. Speaking in production meetings and sharing my ideas with the team helped boost my speaking abilities and gave me more confidence. Professors provide opportunities to present in class to help with public speaking, but being in a classroom is a different experience than the atmosphere you feel in an agency. Being an intern in an agency, you typically don’t have nearly as much knowledge as everyone else in the room. Each person you work with has been doing their job for many years and has several times as much experience as you do. Being in a classroom, most of us are on an even playing field and if you say something wrong, the only person that can correct you most of the time is the professor. Being in an agency, everyone in the room can correct you, but they can also teach you something you didn’t know.
Along with gaining confidence in writing, speaking and going to meetings, there are a few tidbits of information that I learned from this experience.
- Always ask how you can help others when you’ve caught up on your work. Asking what others need shows that you’re team player, you’re there to help, and people can rely on you.
- Never say no to learning something new, even if it doesn’t apply to you. This summer I learned how to conduct reporting on social media outlets, how to set up an email campaign, how to create videos and more, even though I most likely won’t do many of those things as an account manager.
- As well as never saying no to learning something new, be eager to learn. If someone in the office is working on something you want to know more about, ask to join in and learn about the project.
- Never take a minute for granted. If you were hired to be an intern that means that these industry professionals are taking time out of their busy workday to help you and teach you about the industry. Be thankful for every minute you get with them. Industry professionals are helping you because they want to, not because they have to.
- Have fun. Being an intern is a rewarding experience and opens up tons of opportunities in your future. Be polite and work hard and be thankful.
Although several terms and tactics that are taught in the classroom apply to the industry, nothing can truly teach you about an agency other than the agency you work with. Each agency has their beliefs and values that translate into the work, driving different ideas and helping develop priorities. Even though the workforce can be scary at first, spending my summer with Glint has made me more eager to finish my last semester of college so I can get back into the industry and do real work for real clients.
Interested in an internship opportunity at Glint Advertising? Give us a call at (817) 616-0320 or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.