Monday, July 15, 2013

How to Escape the Mid-Internship Rut

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Hi there, Edsters!

I’ve been at my amazing internship for over a month now. It’s been an incredible experience and definitely something that I don’t take for granted—but I’ve noticed that I’ve started to fall into a routine lately. I don’t think routines are bad, but sometimes routines can lead into…well, a rut of sorts. I feel very comfortable with Lifestyle Mag’s office and my responsibilities, which is great! But, I realized that because of my new found ease, I stopped looking for new and creative ways to exceed expectations! I think it’s always important to strive for a better day than the previous—regardless if you’ve been at the internship for one day or 45! Keeping this in mind, I did a bit of internship soul-searching and came up with a list of 4 ways to get whippersnappers out of a mid-internship rut!

1. Ask for a mid-internship review

Some schools require a mid-internship review, but mine doesn’t. Even though it’s not required for my credit, I definitely want to hear what my supervisor and other editors have to say about my work. Mid-internship reviews are a great way to pinpoint mistakes that are being made. I’m hoping that I will be able to correct any mistakes by the time that my internship ends!

2. Think of new projects that you can suggest

If you feel like you need a few more projects to keep you busy, don’t be shy! Suggest a new project to your editor and let them decide if it is a worthwhile task for you to complete. Even if the editor turns down your idea, they will likely see your enthusiasm and desire for extra work and they might come up with something else for you to do. If you hit a point where there isn’t a lot of work for you to do, spend some time researching industry trends and what your mag’s competition is up to. Market research is always helpful and editors often don’t have time to do it! So it’s a great extra project that can also spur new ideas and might even result in a new project that you can contribute to. Also think outside the box: maybe your internship could use an intern manual! Include things like login passwords, how to make copies, how to mail items, etc. Think of things that you can do that will make your editor's life easier and they will likely think of fun new projects for you as they get them.

3. Plan lunch dates (or weekend events!) with other interns

Your fellow interns are also future editors so it’s important to build strong relationships with them. Plus, if you feel like your hitting a mid-internship rut, chances are other interns might be, too! Use each other for a little inspiration!

4. Schedule informational interviews and an interview with HR

Another way to reignite your enthusiasm might is by scheduling a few interviews. Reach out to editors that you love at publications you admire and see if they might have time to grab a cup of coffee with you for 15 minutes. If they are too busy, you can always ask them if they’d be willing to answer a few of your questions over email! Another option might be to schedule an interview with your magazine’s HR representative. This will give you a brand new insight on the industry. Hopefully you’ll be pumped to take what you’ve learned at your interviews and put it to good use during your internship!

What about you, Edsters? How do you deal with an internship rut? I’d love to hear your tips and advice in the comments!

Ed’s Lifestyle Intern

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