Hi everyone! My name is Paula Cuerquis and I am a senior Advertising student with a concentration in Account Management. Currently, I am interning at Tierney as their Fall Account Management Intern. Having had previous internships at Digitas Health, Flackable, Dentsu Aegis Network, and now Tierney, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to make your internship an enjoyable and educational experience. Here are my two cents on how to survive your internship!
1: As all other interns can attest to, it’s very easy to feel pressure to succeed and caring too much about making positive impressions among your co-workers. When trying to accomplish this, I’ve observed that I become more cautious and timid when asking questions in fear of saying something stupid. However, I’ve also found that this is the most detrimental thing you can do as an intern. Our main role as interns is to learn. The best way to learn is to ask questions and to keep asking questions. The more questions you ask, the more knowledge you’ll be able to capture. Additionally, the current stigma that asking questions “makes you look stupid” is inaccurate, In fact, I’ve found that the more questions you ask the more impressed others are with you. When you ask questions, others can tell that you care about your work and your education. I’m a firm believer of the saying, “there are no stupid questions.”
2: Another piece of advice I have is to be proactive. The truth of the matter is, sometimes you’re going to be sitting at your internship twiddling your thumbs–it’s inevitable. Some days your manager is going to be too swamped with work to have time to even think about giving you work. Whereas some people’s first instinct might be to just sit and wait for work to be given, I encourage you to seek projects you can assist on. This is where being proactive comes in. Instead of wasting time waiting for work, ASK FOR WORK. Asking for work not only paints you in a positive light, but having work to do makes your day go by so much faster. Not only should you ask your direct supervisor for work, but you should also ask different people across the agency. This is a great opportunity to dip your toes into different disciplines. If you’ve always wanted to know what art directors do everyday, maybe you can ask to sit in on a meeting or help with a side project. Ask for work. Not only will your supervisor thank you but so will your future-self.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout college it is that recognition is not given, it is earned.. Advertising is a beast and once college is over there’s no one there to hold your hand. Do your future self a favor and prepare yourself, today. Continue seeking internships because any experience is good experience.