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Surviving an Internship

Posted 23 August Sarah Abraham

Coming to the end of my time at Celestra, I thought I’d give my top tips for ‘surviving an Internship’. With it being the transition from education into a career an Internship is a great way to learn/ develop your skills and knowledge while gaining the commercial experience that employers now want candidates to have. However, a new environment, new people and a new work structure it can be quite daunting. So, here are my tips and tricks for getting the most out of an Internship and settling into the office environment.

Get on with your co-workers

Whether you like it or not, you’ll be spending more time surrounded by your co-workers than your friends and family. I don’t think I would have survived the year without the constant laughs and chit chat. Find the common ground, a fellow Lancashire lass in the team made me feel right at home. Before you ask its tea not dinner. The fact that Joe the Marketing Executive also shares a love for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Meant there was always something to discuss and debate the day after an episode had aired. Not forgetting the many sugar highs after discovering our shared love for Skittles. Fueled by our Manager Glen, it must have made us more productive.

Network!

The first step into the big wide world of careers can feel scary, but networking is an important part of Interning. You’ll meet tons of people whether it’s in office or at a trade show. Make sure you’re making those connections; you never know when these contacts may become useful. An Internship is the beginning of your professional working life so make sure you’re making the effort to get to know people. Future opportunities are unknown so be your best self when meeting new faces, it might just come in handy.

Create a LinkedIn

Having only used LinkedIn to update my education and work achievements and the typical ‘I’ve just Graduated’ picture post I never really knew its benefits. Only when I started at Celestra did I begin to utilise the platform. Connecting with people in the office, key industry figures, brands & companies, my LinkedIn newsfeed now doesn’t lack interesting content.  Working in marketing social media plays a key part in the role and working for a B2B company LinkedIn has been a key platform we’ve used. Understanding the opportunities it can offer, from advertising project milestones, job vacancies and general updates it’s been one of the most successful platforms for engagement and impressions. Use the months or year you have interning to build your own personal ‘brand’ using LinkedIn. Let people know what you’re doing, write a few blogs, talk about stuff you’re interested in and connect with the right people. To be passionate about your career you need to know what you’re talking about, for me, LinkedIn has increased my industry awareness and it’s meant I’ve been able to use this in my work while getting my name known to business professionals.

Ask questions

It’s true the advice our parents and teachers gave us growing up, you don’t look stupid asking questions and more than likely someone else is thinking the same thing. Interning is about learning and developing yourself, if you don’t understand something then ask! There have been many times throughout the year where I’ve been asked to do something and not understood it. Whether it’s a new term or a new system, if I hadn’t had asked, I wouldn’t have progressed. No one expects you to start a new role and know everything from day 1. So, when you’re asking those questions make notes and spend time ensuring you get it done right. It only reflects positively on yourself and your willingness to learn and adapt.

Office politics

Last but not least the office politics. No, don’t worry I’m not going to get into the whole ‘clean your mug rather than leave it in the sink’ or ‘food in the fridge is someone’s lunch, so don’t just help yourself’. It’s more directed at the policy of bringing in cake when it’s your birthday. Don’t fall into the trap. One biscuit here and a chocolate cupcake there next thing you know that brand new pair of work trousers you bought in September are slowly but surely getting tighter. Don’t get me wrong the odd treat here and there is always tempting but I’ve definitely learnt that working in an office isn’t kind to the waistline.

To sum it up, get the most out of an Internship that you possibly can. You might discover that although you’ve studied and felt that this is the path you want to take, working in an environment where you’re collaborating with other departments and learning about other roles you might find they interest you more. For me, my Internship has clarified that Marketing is a career I want to progress. I’m excited to take all that I’ve learnt over the past few months and progress even more in my new role. I’ve met a bunch of amazing people and I won’t forget my time at Celestra. For now though, in the words of Gemma Collins “get that fire exit door, I’m off”.

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