A Fish Out of Water: From AM to ANA

Great things never come from comfort zones, don't be afraid to step out of yours.

Hi everyone! My name is Alison Elmire and I am a senior Advertising student with a double concentration in Account Management and Brand Strategy and Research. Currently, I am an Analytics Intern at Seer Interactive, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-per-click Advertising (PPC), and Analytics.

Starting a new internship is always intimidating, but it is even more intimidating when your new internship is outside your area of expertise. With all of my previous experience being in account management, the idea of interning in Analytics made me feel like a fish out of water. Fast-forward seven weeks later – I can tell you that stepping outside of my comfort zone has been one of my best decisions to date. For any of you considering trying something new, I encourage you to go for it and here’s why:

Expectations are low, but in the best way
As an intern you are not held to the same standards as full-time employee. While that may seem obvious, it can be easy to forget. You might not know how to do something, or you might have to make a couple of revisions to your work. I am here to remind you that this is okay. You are there to learn and you are there to continuously improve. Listen to the people around you and ask for feedback, they are awesome resources and want to see you succeed.

There’s no such thing as a stupid question
You hear it all the time, but it is the truth. Stepping outside of your comfort zone involves learning new skills, processes, and tools. It may make sense when someone else explains it to you but doing it on your own can be a different story. Do not hesitate to ask questions. In fact, be ready to ask multiple questions, because it is likely you will have more than one. Asking questions provides clarification, leads to greater understanding, and helps you apply what you are learning to the work you are doing at your internship.

The greater the challenge, the greater the reward
There is nothing easy about trying something new and taking on a whole new skill set that you are unfamiliar with, which is why it is even more rewarding when it starts to click. All of the sudden everything starts making sense, and what used to be confusing becomes second nature. You will be proud of yourself for all the hard-work you put in to reach that point, and the people around you will be proud of your perseverance and growth throughout your internship.

Hopefully, I was able to help ease your fears about pursuing different types of opportunities. I know that if you had told me a year ago that I would be writing entire client reports and monthly analyses, I would have never believed you. But here I am today, doing just that and so much more. Follow your curiosity and challenge yourself. You might just surprise yourself with what you are able to accomplish.

One comment

  1. Hi Alison! I truly enjoyed reading about your journey at Seer Interactive. It’s amazing how you challenged yourself with a field that’s completely outside of what you are familiar with. Although I can’t relate to your experience since what I have experienced so far all come from a specific role, I can see how this new experience has helped you step out of your comfort zone and learn something new. I will definitely keep your advice in mind and consider trying out something outside of my traditional pathway!

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