I’m Quaadir Price, an Advertising student at Temple University in Philadelphia. I am participating in a summer internship at Hammedownz, an online thrift and consignment company in Philadelphia. I am interning as a web developer, but I also work in the company’s social media department from time to time. Because Hammedownz is a small startup company, I wanted to utilize my self-taught website development skills to help build and improve their website. And I will use my acquired skills to assist their social media team. I choose this internship because it’s an excellent way to get experience in smaller companies and develop my skills for future employers.
Though my internship is just beginning, I thought I’d share my experience with you guys as maybe my post would help someone who is just starting their internship.
Because this is a small company, the staff is not as big as more established companies, so they need the help. Often, I find myself helping out and participating in more than one department. I am responsible for developing the website and ensuring it’s optimized for a good user experience.
I was a little lost and didn’t know exactly where to start when I first started. I knew my tasks and what needed to be done, but I thought I would have a clear vision of what my supervisor wanted. Without it, my job would not have been 100% clear to me. Granted, I tend to overthink and not ask questions, making unnecessary mistakes. This brings me to two things I had to learn: don’t be afraid to ask questions and that it’s okay to make mistakes.
I admit that I was hesitant to ask questions. I was concerned about being irritating or annoying. But, it didn’t take long for me to understand that my supervisor Bernice and the rest of the staff were not just there to help me, but they wanted to ask for help. They want me to succeed because they did as well if I succeeded. An internship is a learning experience to grow and learn and sharpen your skills, and one of the best ways to do this is to ask questions.
Now I mentioned mistakes, and I made a couple. At first, I thought it would hurt my internship review, and I’d be seen as incompetent. But that was far from the truth. As much as I tried to be a perfectionist and know everything off the back, that “I can’t afford to make mistakes” attitude initially held me back in the first week or so. This was an attitude I had before the internship with regular jobs and even my studies. Still, I can say that watching people on the job as an intern, I’ve seen a couple of mistakes. I even had to call a couple of them out, in a respective manner, of course. But doing that made them value my opinion even more; in fact, it was encouraged because when you do that, it prevents the mistake from happening a second time. So I can say that experiencing those things first-hand made me adjust my previous mindset for the better.
One of the things I do during my internship is graphic design for their Instagram page and the website. After creating and working with other team members’ graphics for both the website and social media, I decided to get some input from the staff. Many of them complimented me on my creativity. I remember them saying I was creative and I should take creative freedom. It made me wonder if there was a particular specialty within the advertising field. I always considered myself more of a creator/creative and thought that Account Management would be the closest thing; however, after doing some research, I found out there is a creative director position within the Ad industry. I feel like that would be more suited for me. I never knew that was a field in the advertisement industry, and if it wasn’t for me interning here, I’m not sure I would have found out about it.
My experience at Hammedownz has been great so far. Was everything I expected it to be? Not exactly, but that’s not the fault of the company. Something I tend to do is hope more. I knew it was a smaller company, and there was work to be done, which was great because it was a challenge for me. I thought interning at a growing company would be an excellent place to sharpen my skills for future employers.