I have had the unusual privilege to transition my summer internship at PNC Bank, into a fall internship and finishing up with a spring internship. As I now come upon one year in the same job, I have seen a glimpse of the dedication and persistence it takes as a professional. We as college student interns see a snapshot of what a working business model is and how it feels to work in a ‘real world’ setting. However, we capture our interpretation of that, generally, in three to five short months. I have learned that the key to being a good employee, in any profession, is maintaining interest and revitalizing your excitement towards your job. With that, it is easier said than done, jobs can become monotonous and stale after you have been doing them for a long period of time. I’m sure that there is not a single person who has ever loved their job every day, every year for their entire career but staying positive curbs the bad days.
As prospective advertising and marketing professionals we are granted a luxury many other professions are not. Our jobs are constantly changing, which makes maintaining longevity at a particular company easier. I have learned in my year at PNC that, even though it’s a more entertaining field of work, making copies and filing paperwork is never, ever exciting, but it is part of the job. Additionally, I have learned that after a few months, the excitement of the new internship wears off; however, it is at that point as an intern you need to dedicate yourself that much more. Being on time to work and finishing projects by the set deadline sets apart interns who are there for the credit, and those who actively want to be considered for full-time positions.
In my year at PNC I have also seen the invaluable practice of networking. At internships meet everyone you can and get as many business cards as possible. Because, as many of us seniors are learning the job market is competitive. The more people who know your name and can vouch for your ability the better. Also, generally speaking the first impression is the only one you get in a work setting so always be professional, even when you are not feeling so professional.
The last key lesson I have taken away, is that internship are for learning. It is easy to get caught up in the idea that your internship is a job (which it is); however, it is also an educational experience. Making mistakes is part of beginning a career, learning from those mistakes and correcting them moving forward is what makes a good intern, great. Moral of the story, dress well, be on time, talk to everyone you can and absorb the wealth of knowledge that is all around of you.