An Incomplete and Abridged Guide on How to Intern

The purpose of this post is to help students looking for internships find one and do well. The tips here are from my personal experience as an intern at Chatterblast Media. Good luck, you shining vessel of opportunity and potential.

1) Acquire an internship. It’s obvious, but it’s also one of the hardest things to do on the list. Learn about the resources at your fingertips and use them. Temple has some and so do various organizations within Philadelphia (If you can, sign up for Philly Ad Club. The student discount makes it very affordable).

Why I’m Not an Art Director

2) Thank the company/agency/person for the opportunity. Profusely. It’s a great opportunity, and chances are, many people applied for it. And they choose you. Thank them. Do it in a timely fashion, too. This shows that you have an active interest in the opportunity and starts off your internship on the right foot.

An e-mail usually suffices. A hand-written letter will blow their socks off.


3) Show up. To quote Woody Allen, “80 percent of life is showing up.” Do it physically and mentally. Be on time and ready to work. People notice. Form good work habits now, and they will be fine-tuned come time for a full position.

4) Be an intern. Results may vary. Depending on what your internship entails, you are usually assigned to some supervisor or person to answer to. Do anything and everything they ask or tell you to do. Unless you are playing Simon Says, in which case, make sure they say “Simon Says” first. Oh. And ask questions. Plenty of them.

Good places won’t really make you do stereotypical intern stuff.


5) Should I Stay or Should I Go? Depending on your experience and the need of the place you interned at, you may end up staying or leaving. If you stay, awesome. If you leave, also awesome. Maybe you found out you don’t want to do whatever you did at your internship in the future, in which case it was a great learning experience. Or maybe you have another opportunity lined up. Just make sure to leave on good terms, because you gained valuable experience and acquired some precious connections. We’ve all been told this many times, but the advertising business is small one. Everyone knows everyone, so be someone that people would like to recommend or vouch for.

A nice handshake makes for an appropriate salutation .

One comment

  1. As far as the typical internship stuff, I’ve had to do my fair share. But what’s awesome is my supervisor always says that the marketing department will have something more interesting after the grunt work, and 9/10 times they deliver. Of course, whatever work needs to be done just has to get done, but it’s great when the boss actually wants you to get experience with actual work and not just be a professional coffee getter guy.

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