I had always heard from my friends that being an intern was one of the worst experiences for them. From being overwhelmed by the higher ups asking too much of them, to the employees being rude, the stories I heard got nasty. As you’d expect, when I started as an intern at Market My Market, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My interview went well and I thought the employees were really nice. Was this just a con to lure me into a bad situation? Would I be efficient enough to help and not hinder the other employees? After about a month here, my questions have been answered and I’ve learned quite a bit.
1. It’s a Slow Buildup
The first couple of weeks here I was writing one blog post a day and then watched youtube videos for the rest of the day. Those videos weren’t cat videos, but they were youtube videos nonetheless. I was told that I’d end up doing a lot more and while I did enjoy being on youtube everyday, I was hoping that would be the case. Fast forward a little bit and I was writing search engine optimization (SEO) audits and learning all the ins and outs of how to write a good blog post. Meta descriptions and SEO titles (both new phrases for me) became something that I constantly had to think about. I do much more now than I did at the start and your mindset has to be ready for when your tasks grow.
2. I Shouldn’t be Afraid to Ask Questions
I consider myself an extremely shy person. Trying to order pizza on the phone is more akin to a horror movie for me than a remedial task. At first, I wouldn’t ask an employee a question no matter how much I struggled. I thought it would be an irrelevant question and I didn’t want to interrupt the flow of the office. I constantly viewed myself as an “intern” and because of the way my friends described their experiences, I thought that I should just stay quiet. That mindset quickly went away after I realized that being an intern here was basically the same as being an employee. Those scary intern stories I heard from my friends were a distant memory. As I opened up more, I started asking more questions and even the smallest issues proved to give me valuable information. My anxiety slowly dissipated until it was no more and I’m still asking as many questions as possible.
3. If There’s a Company Trip to Take Part in, I Should Just Go
This might be specific to Market My Market, but there was a small company trip this month. After about 3 weeks of interning, the higher ups basically asked everyone “Hey guys! Wanna go on a trip?” My assumption was that they were talking to the actual employees (this was still before my mindset changed) so I thought I wouldn’t actually be invited. It seemed a little weird for someone who’s been here for 3 weeks to be so happily invited on a trip, but I agreed to go. As it got closer to the date, I was feeling a little anxious because it would be the first time I’ve gone to a theme park with people other than my friends and I almost let my anxiety stop me from joining them. It ended up being the most fun I’ve had in a long time (sorry to my friends in my neighborhood, but Market My Market knows how to have fun too). Employees were no longer employees to me and they became peers and friends after the trip. The bosses also didn’t feel intimidating and I felt comfortable around them. I also learned that I have a lot in common with everyone in the office which is always a good thing.
4. Always be Ready to Learn New Things
Something that everyone can learn from being an intern at most places is to always be ready to learn something new. Accepting challenges can help get you settled in how things will be while working there. You might have your day thoroughly planned out, but a new task could pop up at any second. You could be overwhelmed and you could think that you can’t do it. My advice is to try. Try your best to accomplish a new task to the best of your ability. Those around you will understand that you don’t have the same amount of experience as they do. For me, web design has been the hardest thing to learn because I don’t have a lot of time to watch tutorials when I go home after the day is over. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to get good at it, but I kept trying. At the risk of sound like a stereotypical Disney movie, I can proudly say that I’ve gotten better at it after giving it my all. I’m still not a pro or anything, but there’s definitely been a large improvement.
5. Don’t Let the Pressure Get to You
This might be the most important thing that I’ve learned here. An intern’s ultimate goal is usually to get a job at the place he’s interning at. Whether I get a job here or not, I’ve learned a lot and enjoyed my time here so far. Pressure to do everything perfectly so you can shine brightly in the eyes of hiring managers and employees can grow to astronomical proportions. If you’re doing well, you’ll most likely be assigned and trusted to do more things and if you’re not careful, this can be a little overwhelming. It’s always good to feel like you’re doing a good job and making a difference, but taking on too much when you’re not accustomed to proper time management and are constantly getting new tasks can ultimately make the quality of the things you already do well go down. If you don’t think you’ll have time to accomplish something on any given day, don’t be afraid to let your peers know. Unless your internship is like my friends’ scary stories, they’ll probably tell you not to worry about it and finish it whenever you have time. Letting them know when your day is full can not only make the day more efficient, but it also allows you to get settled and finish your tasks (most of the time).
Being an intern at Market My Market has been a blast. Everyday I go home and ramble about how much fun I’m having. I’ve been out to lunch a few times, participated in brainstorming sessions, and I’ve eaten Doritos (lots and lots of Doritos). As I already said, even if I don’t get a job here, I won’t regret any of my time spent at Market My Market and hopefully these things that I’ve learned can help other interns wherever they may go.