As a student, you should value every education and given opportunity to learn and gain skills. An internship is usually your first opportunity to meet people in your chosen industry and those connections can help you later in your career.
But how do you secure yourself an internship? What is that key element that agencies are looking for? Whether it’s experience, thinking outside the box, maybe it’s your hobby that makes you stand out, but for ENTG it is – the right attitude!
My student internship began as Community manager for ENTG in last year of college. A year and half long internship was a priceless professional experience that taught me not only about CM or practical experience in digital world, but also gave me firsthand insights into how a digital & creative agency really works. I was lucky enough to end my internship with an opportunity for a first employment as Office manager and communication assistant.
If you have a chance to apply for an internship, do it! I’ve done it and it turned out to be the best thing for me. If you’re still questioning yourself, maybe some of the references and my personal examples in this blog will push you to take a step ahead.
These are the words you’ve heard so many times, but yes – get actively involved. Every job, every college presentation you hold or event you visit, can teach you something.
Before the internship in ENTG, in highschool I worked as an editor of school newspapers for two years and during that time I volunteered for the magazine LOB in my hometown. When I started college, I was involved in Croatology students newspaper Cassius. All of that helped me with my writing skills and gave me an opportunity to meet talented new people.
Do you want to step outside your safety zone? Why not host an event (at college, in local organization you’re working with), try volunteering with an organization (charity, political or specific interest group) that you feel inspired by. Use this to build experience, develop skills and grow your network.
Create something on your own
By showing that you can create something out of nothing outside of the workplace – you’re showing that you can create something in the office as well! Why not start your own blog or use Tumblr to write about what you are interested in, start your own research, think of a new way to use social media or what is trending – it’s your choice. It doesn’t have to be work related, you only need to show that you are self driven and capable to make something great.
For instance, in my free time I like researching about gender differences in movies and TV shows about superheroes and how they are represented in social media. Working on this, I’m connecting my personal interest with my job, I guess it’s my dream project. Who knows, maybe I’ll publish my research someday.
Highlight your skills
Skills are as important as your experience, so don’t hesitate to show them. Whether it is a digital, social or technical tool that you mastered or read about, show that your skills are required for the internship you’re applying for. This qualitative understanding will likely come up in an interview and will show that you’re more suited for the internship than someone who’s clueless.
Lucky for you, now you can find a lot of online and offline education’s where you can work on your skills. I used this opportunity to finish an education about movie critics, a photography education and next one is programming education. All of this pushed me in some new direction and it’s still doing that.
Organization and time management
As a student, you know that key to finishing a semester is organizing and planning your time. That’s exactly what you need to master before coming into a work environment. Agency work is so fast-paced and every day is different, so the key is to be very well organized and be able to multitask well and quickly switch from working for one client to another. Employers want to know that you can prioritize responsibilities and produce results at the end of each day.
It’s a skill you can work on and that means you can perfect it. What helps me be organized is my bullet journal (don’t worry, I’ll cover this theme in next blog). I’ve learned that if I can make one on my own, I sure can deal with every work related given task. But if you’re not into DIY planners, feel free to use a cool app on your phone, create a planner in Excel or write to-do list on a piece of paper that you can throw out by the end of the day – it’s up to you.
Of course, you can’t know how many things you have to do the next day, but if you can write key things to-do, you are already one step ahead.
Build your connections
Every university organizes networking events, so why not use that and connect with a large network of professionals and businesses? Find out when the network or event is scheduled and how you can make use of this, even ask for mentoring opportunities. All of this will help you build your connections and hear about new internship openings.
In college, I went on most of the events and it was a great choice. I was able to meet new people and start working on new and interesting projects (such as Djeca medija, participating in the survey on the number of daily readers of newspapers and writing for women in business news portal). All of the people I worked with, they were mentoring me, gave me amazing advice and prepared me for next challenges.
Each and every one of you is different, and have an interest of your own, but all of you have the same chance. If you want to build yourself, you really can do it and make the best version of yourself. I was able to do something new and unknown to myself and it was the best decision. This time spent learning with the people at ENTG is priceless and there are still a lot of things I’ll learn from them. So don’t be afraid – take a step ahead and start building yourself to be ready for internship challenges.
And if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with me. 🙂
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