An Intern’s Insights to Live By

Navigating my first internship and the reflecting on my experience.


My name is Amanda Cigol. I am a senior Advertising major with a Concentration in Copywriting. I am currently interning at ZU Publishing, Inc. as the Head Social Media and Marketing Intern. I have been interning at ZU Publishing, Inc. for almost five months. I work alongside my supervisor, Matt Zinman, who is an author, wellness course creator, podcast host, and non-profit founder.

Throughout my experience at ZU Publishing, Inc., I’ve acquired several skills I did not have at the beginning of my internship. I categorize these lessons and skills as insights. Matt and ZU Publishing, Inc.’s brand is based on the ideals in his book and podcast, “Z-isms: Insights to Live By.” Within these works, Matt teaches crucial life lessons and personal insights that one should practice and, perhaps, live by. I figured I would take a swing at two of my own Insights to Live By, the Intern edition.

First Intern Insight to Live By: be open. At the beginning of my internship, I was not a tech type of person. I found learning new programs jarring. I doubted my abilities. During my internship, I was tasked with learning the programs WordPress and Learn Dash. We use WordPress to create and edit the website and Learn Dash to create his wellness courses. I have never used these programs before my internship. So, I watched tutorials, asked my supervisor for help, and began experimenting with the programs. Today, I am currently building out a new course and making edits to his website with ease. I am glad I had the opportunity to use these programs and acquire these skills for the future. Be open to the things that might make you nervous in the beginning. With a little practice and some help, things will become easier in time.

Finally, the second Intern Insight to Live By: show up early with a pen and paper. As cliché as it sounds, it never hurts to be early. Those extra five minutes can be the perfect window to ask questions or strike up some small talk. I found that arriving at meetings early gave me time to prepare a presentation or allow myself to go through last week’s notes. Next, notes. Take them on paper. I’ve always found that jotting down the information from a meeting has helped me stay organized and on track. Sometimes, my supervisor would ask what my tasks were for the week, and luckily, I wrote them down on paper. It may sound simple but try to keep a notebook dedicated to your internship. By the end, you’ll have a notebook of proof of what you have been assigned and accomplished.

Overall, I am very thankful for my experience at ZU Publishing, Inc. Matt has helped me grow professionally and expand my skill set. I am glad I had the opportunity to work in social media and consider this a field I would pursue. I feel accomplished with the insights I gathered.


  1. Hey Amanda,
    I really enjoyed reading about your internship. I also had to become familiar with using WordPress on a daily basis and having the responsibility of updating a busy website, which was overwhelming at first. Being open to learning about the site and it’s functions let me work to the best of my ability. I’m glad you were also able to quickly grasp these new skills and become a better marketer as a result!

  2. Hi Amanda. I enjoyed reading about your experiences and the advice you have to offer from your internship this semester. I couldn’t agree more with your advice to be open! I have had a similar experience with working outside my comfort zone this semester because I am working a PR internship. Hearing that others are in the same boat is comforting in a way.

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