If I Knew Then, What I Know Now
I mentioned in a previous blog that when I first found out about the internship with Ethic Advertising Agency, I knew nothing about Google Grants. Which was what the internship mainly revolved around. I’m very thankful that I was still awarded the opportunity to learn under ESA and study everything I could about Google Grant. As I am approaching the end of my Summer internship, I have not only learned so much about Google Grants, but I also have grown in many other aspects. I received a trial by fire and have come out the other side unburned. While I have had pre-requisite classes at West Virginia University, Ethic Advertising Agency was my first hands on experience in the world of advertising and marketing. Jumping into this internship was a little scary for me. Here are some things I wish I would have known or been able to read before starting.
Do not be afraid to ask questions
Now as simple as this sounds, I had to remind myself of this quite often. While you are interacting with people of higher skill sets and years more experience, there will be things you are not familiar with. Don’t be embarrassed to ask a question, they are there to help benefit you. Learning to be independent and do things on your own is an important part of life, but there are times when it’s smarter and faster to utilize the experience and knowledge of other team members. Whether you have a question or require help with something you are stuck on, always ask. You will most likely feel much more confident about what you are doing, but also save yourself time in the long run.
Get familiar with the company and the skills you will be working with
This means more than just knowing the name of the company and memorizing what they do and what you will be doing as well. Learn about it, familiarize yourself with the company, their competitors, as well as their website. A company’s website and social media are where they are talk about themselves. With my experience I was primarily focusing on working with Non Profit Organizations and Google Grants. I knew that I had to not just get familiar with Google Grants but get comfortable talking about it. I researched beyond Ethic’s website, not just before my internship but during as well. The more familiar you are with what you will be going into and working with, the more confident you will become.
Do not hesitate to take on more work
This can mean a couple different things. Maybe one week you put in a ton of hours to finish what you are working on so you can take on new projects the following week. This is one thing I liked to do. I tried to get tasks that I knew would be time consuming out of the way in the beginning, not because they were not important, but because after that I could then go into different aspects of the internship. I think this helped me manage my time very well as well as put into perspective how long different tasks would take.
Another component is that sometimes opportunities come into play where you are asked to take on new responsibilities. If you’ve positioned yourself to take on a new task efficiently, never say “no” to this. Taking on new tasks helps you get out of your comfort zone, build up credibility, and diversifies your knowledge base. Two examples from my Summer internship that I’ve proud of being asked to take on are researching, compiling, and consulting on market research for Ethic’s Google Grant program. I was able to come up with real life, well-researched suggestions that the company will actually be utilizing. The other project was compiling a Google Grants case study of DePaul School for Hearing and Speech. Both of these additional tasks helped me get out of my comfort zone and grow within the internship.
The most important thing to remember is you will never get ahead unless you start somewhere. No matter how little or how much you know, there is always something you can take away from an experience. In just these past few months I have become much more confident on my skills and in my work. I have learned little tips and tricks that I would not have gotten to know without this opportunity. I have learned so much about Google Grants and working with nonprofit organizations. So, anyone thinking about an internship or just starting one, don’t be nervous, put out the best work you can, and be ready to have an amazing experience.