Today I'm writing this post in collaboration with my awesome intern, Maddie. You'll read her view on internships and her experience as my intern plus my two cents on these positions.
I know, I know.. The last thing you want to hear is what else you need to do to “be responsible” … but hear me out..
If you’ve been through college, started college, or even decided on a distinct profession, you might have an idea of how important internships really are. All I’ve heard since the beginning of freshman year is how internships can help your future career, how they establish you, and what benefits you can get from them. And honestly, I just found the hounding annoying up until I started my first internship and realized the true difference having them under your belt can make.
Probably the most important benefit an internship will give you are contacts. You’re going to be meeting new people already in the field and aspiring to be in the same field you are. You’ll want reliable contacts to write down walking into an important interview that can back you up on things like your work ethic and the impression you left on them.
The next benefit you will learn to appreciate is the ability to ask questions from professionals themselves. There is nothing better than being able to go to a mentor when stuck in a situation they themselves might have gone through or experienced. Ask a many questions as you can so you can gain knowledge from them and learn the ropes as you go.
Not only will you have handy contacts under your belt but you will also put yourself on top of the competition. In already competitive careers it is vital to be able to show that you’ve already got your hands into the field of work you desire to be in. There’s nothing more important than setting yourself apart to show you are driven and internships can get you there.
Currently, I am a freshmen attending IUPUI majoring in Marketing in hopes of someday being able to put my foot in the fashion industry as a buyer/merchandiser. I’ve had the great opportunity to be able to intern for Steph and get one on one experience with her. She’s always there to answer my questions, give me advice, but even more importantly, give me guidance and be a great role model/friend. So far, my first internship has been nothing but an awesome learning experience meanwhile giving me networking opportunities and so much more.
Do yourself a favor, paid or unpaid, take the internship.
I did an internship in New York City during the summer between my junior and senior year of college. It was probably one of the best experiences I could have asked for.
I fell in love with the city and even more in love with the fashion industry. Faviana hired me on that summer as their marketing intern. I was able to work with world-renowned photographer, Fadil Berisha to shoot the 2015 catalogue images. I was part of the design process, selecting colors of dresses and deciding which dresses would and would not be on the line.
On the marketing side of things, I handled social media posts and blog content. I also helped develop the brand ambassador program to utilize Faviana's target market to further develop their brand voice.
Internships are critical in furthering your knowledge in your desired industry. You'll gain experience and like Maddie said above, contacts. More often than not, it's about who you know, not what you know.
Do as many internships as possible. That's the best advice I have.