Ah—interns. The entry-level title helping students transition into life outside of school and exams. It's a confusing time where you feel grown-up, but you realize you're still a baby at the same time. Regardless, you're gaining experience for your career.
Currently, I am a marketing intern at GCG Financial, Inc. and I love it. Throughout my time there, I have learned some things most of us interns find to be true:
1. You really are at the bottom of the totem pole.
While you do a lot of work for little recognition, that doesn't mean you aren't important because you are! We interns are the people who make all of the little details come together, and if we don't do the tediously monotonous things, then who would? So while you're stuffing name tags for an event, laminating a document, or getting food/coffee for someone, know that the seemingly insignificant things are important, and it's your responsibility.
2. You will be out-smarted by an inanimate object.
And it will happen multiple times, by multiple objects. The copier, a stapler, the coffee machine—you name it. You would think that it wouldn't happen to you, but you have been warned. One time, I was out-smarted by a printer in front of our company's CEO. Yeah, it was embarrassing, to say the least.
3. Yes, you will get coffee at some point.
Even though my office has an incredible coffee machine, I have still found myself texting my coworkers asking for their Starbucks order. It's something that will inevitably happen at one time, so embrace the feeling of fulfilling the most stereotyped duty of all interns when walking with the cardboard cup carrier full of drinks.
4. If you're getting paid, you have it made.
Consider yourself extremely lucky if you're getting paid, because the majority of interns aren't. I am getting paid for my internship, and it has made me extremely thankful because I am seeing a lot of my friends voluntarily get their desired experience. So if the opportunity for a paid internship presents itself, don't say no.
5. You finally get on LinkedIn.
I joke that LinkedIn is the adult version of Tinder—but the only thing you want to be hooked up with is a sick job. This digital resume is an excellent tool to help you find a job, as well as connect with peers, coworkers and other professionals in your field. If you're a college student, regardless if you're an intern or not, get on LinkedIn ASAP.
6. You're hoping for a full-time job.
Not all internships lead to full-time jobs with the same company, let alone in the same department. Some companies might not have any positions open, but that won't stop you from dreaming. We've been working for that company, know the people there, so why wouldn't we be considered for a position we're qualified for?
7. Your resume will be awesome.
And awesome. I mean, the main goal with an internship is to get experience—to be introduced to what lies beyond our classrooms. You're being mentored and taught by people who have made it in their respective industries, so while you're working, not only are you learning new skills, but you're also learning how to best articulate said skills to make potential employers impressed.
Whether you're getting class credit or not, whether you're getting paid or not, whether you're there for five weeks or over a year—internships are a great time to learn and grow as a professional. So have fun and enjoy.