When I tell someone that I'm working as a marketing intern for a (of all places) a popcorn seasoning company this summer, I have found that I get either one of two responses.
If I'm talking with someone from my generation, whether it be catching up with my best friend from high school or making light conversation with my cousin's best friend at a grad party, they typically respond with "Oh my gosh! That sounds like SO MUCH FUN! Do you love it?" or "Wow. I'm just working at the ice cream shop by my house. I can't even imagine how much work that must be!"
If I'm having a conversation with someone much older than me, however, such as one of my parent's friends or my next-door neighbors, the reaction is much different. Sometimes they laugh and ask if I have "my boss's coffee order down yet" or say something along the lines of "Hm. Good for you. I didn't have my first internship until I was out of college....how did you manage to land it?"
At first, I found it rather difficult to answer these questions. For example-in response to whether I "love what I'm doing", I kept answering both yes and no. Yes, I love the atmosphere of the office I work at, and have been fortunate enough to be treated not just like the "girl who will be heading back to school in three months", but with all the respect of a full-time employee, trusted confidently with carrying out all the responsibilities and tasks of a Head Marketing Director. So no, being an intern is not all about getting coffee and being a glorified assistant; it's about working hard and getting the job done, which can range from responding to what feels like a hundred emails a day to brainstorming what the company's next big initiative should be.
Which isn't always as fun as it seems.
In fact, sometimes I dread having to email the same 10-15 people three times a day, or carrying out some of the other more mundane tasks of a marketing intern (definitely not the biggest fan of data entry). It is a lot of work, and I almost never leave on time, trying to get ahead on the next day's tasks or simply finish the ones from that day. I've learned the true importance of time management, and in coming up with a routine/plan for a day and sticking to it, but I've also learned how awesome it feels to finally check off that last box on my four-page to-do list.
So, no, it's not always the most fun thing in the world, but in the end, I've found that it's always worth it. I love being able to come home after a long day and just unwind (something else I've really learned the true importance of), crawling into my bed with the next episode of Jane the Virgin already loaded up on my laptop and reflecting on how much I've accomplished that day. This feeling is what empowers me to roll out of bed at 6:45 every morning (and the promise of a fresh cup of coffee, of course) and strut to my cubicle with confidence, in knowing that if I could make it through all of yesterday's work, I can definitely tackle whatever's in store for me today.
Oh, and to answer how I managed to get the position itself, it was actually pretty easy (easier than the job itself, if you can believe it).
I just decided one day that I wanted to do something more with my summer, to get a taste of what the working world is really like, and I just kept submitting applications until I got the job I wanted.
And that brings me to final lesson-if you want something, go out there and get it.
Every new day belongs to a world of new possibilities, so seize it. Carpe diem, if you will.