As my internship debrief meeting with my internship faculty advisor, Stacey Harspter, was coming to an end, I was posed with one final question: what do you think you learned or gained most from your internship this semester? Most people may have thought of different tasks that they were able to complete or interesting industry insights that they now have. After taking a moment to think about what I truly gained from my time with Tag Strategies in Center City, I answered the question with one word: confidence.
Beginning at your first internship can be a daunting experience. Questions such as ‘am I even qualified for this position?’ and ‘what if I don’t know how to do something that they expect of me?’ ran through my head as I took the elevator up to the 16th floor for the first time. I was delighted to find that I was welcomed into the Tag Strategies family with open arms and helping hands. As I began assisting the account services team with day-to-day tasks, I found that the learning curve wasn’t as scary as I was anticipating. There were many times where I was asked if I knew how to do something and I had to honestly reply, “no.” And that’s okay!
It’s okay to not know everything. Throughout networking, my internship, and classroom guest speakers, I’ve realized that there’s a learning curve anywhere you go. You could be the senior vice president at an agency and relocate to another company and you will still face those same tasks of learning how your new team works. Being that it was my first internship, I was afraid that when I would admit that I didn’t know how to do a certain task, I would be seen as unqualified or unprepared for the position. My Tag family helped me quickly learn that’s not the case.
Another important lesson I learned in my journey to professional confidence is that often times you can figure things out. It’s not the most solid advice, but it goes right along with the commonly heard “fake it ‘til you make it.” I am a big believer in asking a million questions and getting the job done right rather than asking none and making errors. However, believe in yourself and your ability to find a solution. Use your resources, check out past examples, and never be afraid to ask your supervisor if you can run your work by them. I processed many job requests on a daily basis and nearly five months later, I still take a pile of my work over to my account executive to run it by her before I send it out to the other department.
Believing in yourself and your ability to thrive is a huge component in your ability to actually succeed. Don’t doubt the skills that you can bring to the table, even if you’ve never had any formal advertising experience in the past. Confidence is key wherever you go.