August 20, 2012
Internship Lessons: Efficiency, Networking, Timeliness
By Heather Wilson
Scheduling my life to the max is how I live. Staying busy is something that comes naturally to me. So taking six online classes this summer through Ohio University and working a full-time internship was of course nothing out of the ordinary for me. This summer I accepted a communications and marketing internship working for Alpha Gamma Delta International Fraternity (which is basically a sorority) in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was a unique experience for me, as I am not a member of any sorority. I was able to learn a lot about the Greek community and develop a lot of respect for the organization.
From the moment I was given work to do on June 11, I was always in my boss’ or co-worker’s office asking for more work. At times I felt as though I was bothering them because I was always in need of more work. I think that my employer was impressed by the efficiency and accuracy of my work, and she didn’t anticipate an intern working so quickly on projects. I credit this to my knowledge of Adobe software such as Photoshop and InDesign from high school and my time at Ohio University. If you are an ImPRessions member and don’t have much knowledge of the programs, I encourage you to take a few classes or watch tutorials online. This software is critical in most communications industries.
During my internship, I worked closely with my fellow co-workers on projects and materials for the bi-annual convention for the Fraternity. My co-worker, Kailee, and I worked on brochures, flyers, website updates, magazine articles, and various other projects. There was not a single thing that I did during my internship that I did not consult with her on. The organization has a very team-oriented atmosphere and everyone bounces ideas off one another to try to make the project the best that it can be.
I am a very outgoing person, but I will admit that when I first started my job I did not make good use of my networking skills. I took a half hour lunch and ate in the lunchroom by myself instead of the usual hour-long lunch like most employees, because I wanted the flexibility of leaving early on Fridays because I had all of my hours in for the week. It wasn’t until my last few weeks at the internship in August that I started being invited to go out to lunch with the other women at work. I got over the fact that I had to stay until the end of the day Friday, and I really enjoyed getting to know my fellow co-workers. In those last few weeks, I realized that it would have been a much more enjoyable internship if I had gotten to know the women earlier rather than later.
Kailee and I developed a great sense of teamwork while I was at my internship. She was always very honest with me and let me have the freedom to be creative while still giving me her advice. At my internship wrap-up meeting, Kailee gave lots of career advice and said that she would be more than willing to write me a recommendation in the future if I ever needed it.
These are the types of relationships that all of us as ImPRessions associates and executives should be developing in our professional atmospheres. In today’s business world, while it is essential to have the skills and degree for the job, it’s also critical to have connections to be able to obtain the job you desire.
The benefits of knowing your fellow co-workers are endless. It allowed me to develop friends in a new city, I learned new things about the organization through them and what projects they were working on, and I even received career advice from them since a lot of them are recent college graduates.
My advice? Stay busy, work efficiently, and get to know co-workers! It will pay off in the end!
If you are interested in learning more about the Fraternity, visit http://www.alphagammadelta.org