When you start your first internship, you are most likely going to be so nervous that you only worry about all the things you’ll mess up on. Take some chill pills – you’re fine. I felt the same way. But after working at Red Tettemer for a couple of months, I’ve got a much better understanding of how agencies run. You will understand too once you begin interning, The people who hired you know that you’re new to all of this. So, here are my Top Three Must-Knows for the new interns out there.

Your team would rather you ask a million questions than work on an assignment poorly. I found myself lucky because one of my team members was an intern in the same department and was given an offer for a job. She couldn’t stress any more how important it is to ask questions. It really is the only way you learn.

In the agency setting, you won’t be able to finish 80% of your tasks without asking any questions. You need to open your mind to where problems can occur and how to avoid them. By doing so, your employers will know that you care about the work and that you want to help solve the problem as a team.

You will receive tons of emails each and every workday. Observe how people talk to each other. This will teach you the core attitudes that the agency represents and will help you understand the level of “What is appropriate?” Since we are interns, I don’t think we should every get too casual when emailing our team members and coworkers, so always know that level of professionalism.

Personally, people in my agency talk very casually, and humorously (everyone knows each other) but I still maintain a professional text format and talk to my coworkers with respect. Learning communication behaviors in the workplace will only help you in all other jobs you’ll work at.

The typical agency isn’t working at full speed every single day. There are days where you perform daily tasks then find yourself bored. This is your time to not only learn more, but also let the rest of the agency know who you are.

There will always be someone who needs help with assignments relative to your duties, so help them out! By working on extra assignments with the Account Management team, I got to understand more about what Account does and I got even stronger understandings of various clients through the tasks I asked for; whether they be helping set up a street style fashion event down the street, or digging through tons of incredible photos from an agency trip to Iceland and choosing user generated content from the web that will look best in client meetings. I wouldn’t have been a part of these presentations if I hadn’t asked for work. In fact, if I hadn’t worked with the account team on these projects, then I wouldn’t have been introduced to even more social media work that we have for the same client.

-provide insightful views to my employers
-write professional emails
-create massive pitch lists of prospective influencers
-develop professional decks with strong personality

SO… Although I sound like a broken record player, these ideas are all so true. I didn’t really observe these ideas as major pillars until two months into my internship. Now that I recognize them, I feel like I work much harder and I wish I had worked even harder when I began because these concepts build me a stronger work ethic at my internship. Be yourself and work hard! You are there for a reason, so seek out the experience you need for future jobs.

One comment

  1. Thanks for this post, Christina. I appreciate your advice and agree with all of it. Interning with the Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications at Temple University, I found the work environment very similar. And I too found myself bored at times. It was very good to offer help to others in the office, just make sure you check in with your direct report so that they know what you are working on and can find you if they need you. Showing that you have other skill sets and abilities is always a positive as well.

    While I feel like I am leaving the internship at a time where I was just diving in, I can say I introduced myself to and created relationships with a bunch of people in the office in all different roles and titles which will no doubt benefit me down the road.

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