Monday, September 2, 2013

What I Wish I Had Done As a First-Time Intern...

What I Wish I Had Done As a First-Time Intern

As a first-time intern, a topic I was familiar with was being discussed and I sat quietly listening to executives try to come up with solutions as if they were picking them up from a hat. My mind was bursting with ideas, I knew I could contribute something, I even worked entire solutions to arguable questions in my head, and by the time I decided I was going to talk, the meeting had ended. At that point I thought to myself well who is going to listen to an intern anyways — that thought was one of the thoughts I regretted the most out of that internship.

I believed internships were just to take on tasks and learn from doing rather than contributing to larger problems. Now as a veteran intern, I know I was wrong. I have a piece of advice I would give to my younger self and to any students new to the internship world:

Explore your creativity. Test the company’s boundaries by promoting ideas that may shift a project’s direction for the better. Sometimes employees who work on projects over long periods are overwhelmed with information and are likely to use the same techniques they have used in the past. Use your understanding of the project’s scope to bring fresh ideas to the table. Also, as a rule of thumb, always make sure your ideas are backed by relevant research and are in line with what the company wants to promote.

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