Surviving my first internship

— Our People — Surviving my first internship

So I finally made it –– my last semester of university. I’m feeling a mix of emotions, but I am obviously bursting with excitement as my final days of study approach. No more all-nighters finishing assignments that I could have started earlier, no more struggling to stay awake in lectures and no more pricey textbooks that collect dust on my shelf until exams. I’m almost done!

Then it dawns on me. In under three months I will have a degree, I’ll be an adult and I’ll need a job! With next to no hands-on experience, I was incredibly thankful to find out that Work Placement was a core subject at university, and with that I eagerly started looking for placements.

Fast forward a couple of months, and after preparing endless cover letters and enduring countless phone interviews and face-to-face meetings alongside 200 other eager soon-to-be grads, I decided to source my own internship. I was going off the well-worn path of options provided to us by Griffith University, and I’m so glad I did.

After being asked to meet with Anna Kertesz, the Managing Director of Guerrilla, I spent the week leading up to the meeting stalking Guerrilla’s social media accounts and memorising their website. The informal ‘get to know you’ meeting went well and I was offered a 10 week internship with Guerrilla. I raced to my car so I could take a sneaky Snapchat to let the world know, I am officially an intern.

My first day arrives and I try and calm my nerves with a peppermint tea. I walk towards the cute boutique looking office and as I enter everyone is so welcoming and friendly. I feel a sense of relief. I take a seat at my own computer, at my own workstation, next to real-life marketing professionals and I try desperately to hide the fact this excites me maybe a little too much. Once I’ve been introduced to everyone and given a tour of the office I immediately feel less like a timid student and more like an intern.

Having prepared for the classic horror story internship, I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t the star of a reenacted The Devil Wears Prada. Thankfully, I wasn’t forgotten about either. With daily tasks assigned such as blogs and checking websites for bugs, I know exactly what I am doing and when I’m supposed to do it. It’s clear, it make sense, and most importantly it keeps me busy.

Sitting in on meetings can seem overwhelming initially but after 10 minutes of my first conference call, I started to grasp what was going on and could actually keep up with the concepts, ideas and discussion had by the client and Guerrilla team members. I do still find myself lost with office jargon sometimes. It seemed to come so naturally to everyone else, but not so much to me, so Google became my best friend.

The Guerrilla office is an incredibly friendly yet professional environment. From the little treats in the kitchen, to the office pets that bounce around your feet all day, it is no wonder that even when everybody is stressed with deadlines and client issues, their smiles and laughs still fill the room. I am only on my third day, and I already love it. I cannot wait to see what awaits for the next 7 weeks.

Well, I’ve got a couple of tasks to tackle so I’m off to prove my worth, but I leave you with 8 of my top tips for interns like me ready to start their first day in the working world:

  1. DO YOUR RESEARCH — Make sure you know who your company is and what they stand for.
  2. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP — Yawning during your internship is not a good look, especially on the first day. Your Netflix binge can wait till the weekend.
  3. DRESS THE PART — Smart and presentable. If you have to question it, don’t put it on!
  4. AIM TO ARRIVE AT LEAST 10–15 MINUTES EARLY — Especially if you are prone to getting lost like I am. This time will be a lifesaver.
  5. INTERACT — Try to get along with your co-workers, this will not only make your internship more enjoyable but networking is key!
  6. ASK QUESTIONS — Don’t be afraid to ask questions, whether it be work related or a sneaky opportunity to pick their brains.
  7. TAKE NOTES — Remember the answers to your questions, if you think you’ll forget, write it down.
  8. RELAX — You’re an intern, you aren’t expected to know everything. Don’t forget. You’re here to learn.

Good luck!

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