There’s Beauty In The Journey

This is for those interns who feel lost or uncertain within their role.

Hi there, my name is Taylor Smith, and I am a senior studying advertising with a concentration in brand strategy and research. I am in my first semester of my senior year, and this semester, I went into my internship feeling like a pro. Going into my fourth internship within my college career, I thought that I had it all figured out. I said to myself “I’ve done social media management before. How will this be any different?” Oh boy, was I mistaken. I had never worked within an organization this intricate before. I used to be the only intern managing one social media platform or project. As social media coordinator for Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts (CLA), I had to be on top of multiple platforms and projects, which I wasn’t prepared for. 

The objective of my projects was to promote the events within the college. To understand the extent of this task, CLA has events every day within the core months of the semester. The biggest project was promoting Hispanic Heritage Month, which consisted of 25 events. During Hispanic Heritage Month, I felt the most lost because it was overwhelming to keep up with those 25 events plus the numerous other events within the college. 

I questioned my place within the office, and I felt uncertain within my role. I didn’t feel like I was supporting my team, especially my boss, Rosemary. This made me feel frustrated, but I am a problem solver. I began to think of other skills that I possess, and I decided to use those. A second tier project was to create video content for YouTube and TikTok. I have experience being a content creator, so I used those skills to spark a rebirth. 

First, I researched TikTok accounts to determine content pillars for CLA’s account. Upon discussion with Rosemary, we decided on a framework for the content. This fueled the video content journey I embarked on. I was able to create work that satisfied me and Rosemary. I was proud of my work again, and I didn’t feel lost within the office anymore. 

Now, I understand this flexibility isn’t present within every role, but I am grateful for Rosemary. She has been teaching me and giving me space to learn, which I feel is important within an internship. In previous internships, I have not had this level of guidance to grow professionally. In addition, I have received feedback that helps me understand my strengths and weaknesses. I recall a conversation I had with Rosemary, when she told me that it’s okay to learn new skills because it will make you better overall. I feel this experience is making me more well-rounded, and I am learning myself more. 

In conclusion, there is beauty in the journey. Discovery can have its ups and downs, but the important thing is to not give up. I could have become totally complacent and accepted defeat; instead I decided to pivot. I must say I am so happy I did because I am enjoying my role again, and I feel excited about the work I am producing. My advice is to stay curious and receptive to criticism because you might learn a life changing lesson. 

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