It is true that internships come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes they are unpaid, some consist of mostly busy work, and some are more like taking a class than getting hands on experience. This summer, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a company looking for someone to produce challenging, valuable work while making it a point to create an environment for learning and growth. I really found what I was looking for from this experience, and I would love to capture in this blog the tasks I accomplished and a few additional things I noted along the way.
My position included mostly content marketing and research efforts, in addition to other various projects and to do’s regularly passed along to me. I wrote several company culture and industry related blogs. The research and writing process helped me not only to improve my writing skills, but also provided the opportunity for me to learn and write about topics I did not have knowledge on previously. I was able to learn more about the industry, company processes, and our clients through producing case studies as well. To produce these, I often got to meet with senior level employees for information – a perk of a tight-knit company I truly appreciate. Furthermore, I completed research and analytics regarding websites and social media to provide the company insight for future application. I presented my findings to my manager, CEO, and at one point, the entire company. Although this includes the main tasks assigned to me for the internship, I accomplished so many additional smaller and larger feats that contributed to both the company’s marketing and sales efforts as well as my own professional growth.
How I Grew
I knew from the beginning I would be doing many jobs that were new to me and learning aspects of business as I went along, so it’s been rewarding to notice an improvement in my own skills over time. In the beginning, there was more editing involved in content I produced, and it took me longer to complete. Over time I found my writing skills improving and processes involved in writing became easier. I have also noted several other areas of professional development from this internship. I see a growth in my professional communication skills and ability to prioritize work when assigned many projects at a time. Likewise, I learned office basics like the importance of following up, clarifying deadlines, and scheduling meetings.
Working at alligatortek, I had unique opportunities that allowed me to gain further knowledge about business, marketing, and my own workplace preferences. It was interesting and eye opening to see how much planning goes into each quarter and how much work behind the scenes is involved in marketing efforts. The morning huddle meetings with daily updates taught me the ways in which employees in the company work together and how jobs are interconnected. I was even able to pick up on business terminology, industry knowledge, and sales strategies from being exposed to the many departments in an open office.
A Newfound Confidence
I noted one major difference between education and the workplace that took getting used to: not being constantly told if I was right or wrong. As I was working on projects in the beginning, I found I had to actively stop myself from turning to my manager for reassurance I was doing something correctly. It was a foreign feeling to present findings and your findings be taken as fact rather than being told if you came to the right conclusions. It wasn’t that I absolutely needed feedback and guidelines to move forward, but from the start I did have to find a new confidence within myself to take ownership of a task to completion when I initially questioned my ability to do so. I think this is one of the biggest takeaways from the internship. To be able to be assigned something that initially seems daunting and impossible to complete yet mustering up the confidence to see the project through to the end anyways in an invaluable skill I feel proud to have gained.
Putting this internship experience into words has proven to be one of the more difficult blogs I’ve written this summer. I’ve grown and learned tremendous amounts over the course of 12 short weeks and had the opportunity to work with an amazing group of individuals. Overall, it’s been one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I’ve ever done, and I’m looking forward to facing new challenges and growing so much more in years to come.