How to be Successful at your First Internship

My time at Philadelphia Magazine has taught me so much; the most important being how to find success.

My name is Matthew Smith, and I am a senior Advertising major at Temple University. As of April, I am in my fourth month as a Sales, Marketing, and Events intern at Philadelphia Magazine. Through this blog post I hope to share the experiences I’ve had thus far, as well as offer tips for those who are starting their internships in the near future. Throughout the duration of my time at Philly Mag I have learned invaluable new skills, not just in the marketing and advertising departments, but from the company and its’ employees as a whole. I feel strongly that what I have learned at this internship will help make my transition from college life into my career a smooth one. Between learning new things, meeting new people, and getting a feel for life in an office, my time at Philadelphia Magazine has been one of the most remarkable experiences of my collegiate career.

My time at Philadelphia Magazine has given me an opportunity to experience the marketing and advertising industry on a first-hand basis. I’ve learned so much that I was not able to learn while sitting in a classroom, while simultaneously utilizing skills that I have learned during my time at Temple. I’ve been fortunate enough to sit in on meetings with clients and assist with new client acquisition efforts, which has helped to teach me the presentation skills needed to pitch a campaign to a client.  I’ve put my digital marketing skills to use by utilizing Google Analytics to analyze online campaigns, a skill that is necessary in any agency today. Most importantly though, I have had the opportunity to work with, and be a part of a team, resulting in network opportunities that will be beneficial as I transition into my career.

Of all I’ve learned though, the most important has been how to be successful in the world of business. By observing and working closely with both interns and coworkers, I’ve been able to see what they do on a day-to-day basis in order to be successful.

To anyone looking to start their first internship, I will leave you with a few pieces of advice.

Punctuality is key – The first step to being successful in an agency is being on time. After working at the magazine for a few months, I have noticed that the most successful employees get in 30-60 minutes early. As I began to adopt this practice, I learned that arriving early gives me an opportunity to get a head start on my work, helping me to be more productive throughout the day.

Ask away – Don’t be afraid to ask questions. In fact, ask a lot of questions. An internship is meant to be a learning experience, and nobody is going to judge you for not knowing something. Asking a lot of questions will also help you to learn more, and it will make you really stand out to your supervisor.

Collaboration – If you’re interning in a collaborative office such as mine, you can use this to your advantage. Instead of trying to tackle a big project on your own, ask another intern to help you. This will allow you to accomplish tasks more quickly, and the additional pair of eyes can help you catch mistakes that you may have missed.

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