Wednesday, June 6, 2012

An Intern Veteran's 4 Key Lessons To Success

Well, Edsters, I did it! 

Week one has come and gone and although I spent the majority of the week transcribing interviews, I still left with the impression that this is going to be a fantastic experience. 

I spent a bulk of my time mentally noting differences between internships. It was hard for me not to since it had been a mere three days between the two of them, and I honestly feel like a little bit of time off between them would have done me some good. As difficult as it was to mentally arrive in new internship mode, I think I'm finally there. Taking a step back, here are a few guidelines that I think could be helpful for you all as you transition between jobs.

1. Take the opportunity to ask questions. At the beginning of internship #1, I was nervous to ask questions because I didn't want my editors thinking they'd made a mistake hiring an airhead.
Not true at all, Edsters. When in doubt about something, ask your internship coordinator or another editor how to do something correctly. Don't be shy, either. It's an excellent opportunity to strike up new conversations, and they'll be happy to know you're doing things correctly the first time.

2. Try to find out opportunities to contribute as early as possible. Lots of mags have blogs that they allow interns to contribute to, and of course well-thought-out pitches are always welcome. I took a few minutes to ask my internship coordinator what were the different areas of the magazine where they typically struggle for ideas, and she was able to point out a few pages where my ideas would be more than welcome. Now for the brainstorming!

3. Make those coffee dates now! It's a new gig with a fresh batch of editors to get to know, so if you've got a particular interest or a specific position you'd like to know about, don't be nervous to shoot an email to ask for coffee or lunch. I know this isn't new advice, but I was apprehensive to get myself out there in my last office setting at the beginning, and I'm glad that I was able to build some confidence in networking by the time everything was said and done.

4. Don't be afraid to be yourself! I have to say, it's been a lot easier for me to be true to my personality this time around, and I feel like that's only been able to help me. I already feel cordial with certain staff members and feel that I can approach them and have them know I'm genuinely excited to help. Having them know that I'm eager but excited to contribute has already landed me a few fun projects!

Moving jobs can be a nervewracking experience, but I'm happy to know that I'm in a friendly work environment. I still feel like the new kid on the scene and I'm still trying to stay busy since I don't have a feel for the work flow quite yet, but so far so good!

What do you think, Edsters? What lessons did you learn early on in your jobs that wound up helping you in the long run?

Until next Wed,
Ed's Lifestyle Intern

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