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When an internship turns you into a buddying entrepreneur

Yesterday was the last day of an internship for a young man who had chosen Marketing Eye Melbourne as the place he was going to learn and work out where he wants to be after he graduates.

Last days are always hard. Firstly, if you have finished everything that you were working on, you tend to just do task that have to be done, rather than projects that may benefit your internship and future employment prospects. Secondly, it's a day of reflection. What did you get out of your internship? Was it worthwhile? Are your colleagues friends of the future? Do you want to work at the company that you did your internship at? Have you chosen the right career path? Are you more confused than ever?

There is so many things that I really enjoy about interns and I feel as though I learn a new thing every week from the way we run internships.

  • What you put into it, is what you get out of it
  • Speak up - if you have finished something, or have nothing to do - let you manager know
  • Always put your best foot forward
  • Have a can-do attitude
  • Listen and ask questions
  • Always write comprehensive notes
  • Let your manager know if English is your second language, so that they can reflect on that when giving you work, or looking at work that you have completed
  • Let your expectations be known up-front, but remember to not be a stereotype millennial
  • Participate and even if you are shy, try to challenge yourself and put yourself out of your comfort zone as much as possible
  • Be a self starter and always the first to put your hand up for a new challenge
  • Culturally, if you have servants at home, know that there are no servants in the office

This particular intern was looking to have a meeting with me, and they couldn't have picked a worse day. I had a lot of pressing issues on my plate and really did not have a minute to spare. At the end of the day, I ended up having to multi-task as I knew that he had to leave at 5pm.

There were some lessons that I wanted to share with him:

  • Let your supervisor know straight away if English is your second language particularly in marketing, as there is so much writing to do. You don't want them to see what they perceive as spelling mistakes or wrong choices of words in your copy, and think that you are not able to write a basic email.
  • Voice your expectations upfront. Let them know that you have chosen to do an internship to work out what you 'want to be when you grow up'. We have this question in the on-boarding phase, but I feel quite often interns don't take it as seriously as they should.
  • Be careful to not discuss the tasks you are working on with other interns, particularly if you don't like the task (like writing a blog), because they may perceive that as a negative attitude or gossip, and worse still, they may feel the need to communicate that with your supervisor, which may restrict your ability to work on other tasks.
  • Work out what your strengths are and play to them.

I was very surprised by what he had to say in the meeting with me, and what direction he wanted to go. Basically, by seeing me operate, he decided that he wanted to be an entrepreneur in the field of marketing. Two things stood out to him;

  • The way I operate the business; flat organisational structure, sharing of skills and stand up meetings where people share professional and personal information.
  • The way I handled an incoming lead, and communicated the Marketing Eye story, which led to a sale of $30,000 on the spot, and a contract signed within an hour - all without meeting the person. What stood out for him was the fact I was confident, measured, articulate and able to share the value of Marketing Eye as opposed to other competitors in the market. I able to clearly distinguish our point of difference, which made it easy for the company to make a choice.

Internships are there so that people gain valuable experience which bolsters their CV's and to better understand what it is like in the workforce. We pride ourselves on our internship program and the value we are able to give our clients.


comments ( 3 )
  • Tam
    Tam
    20 Nov 2017

    I'm still studying and have been looking into applying internships for the future. Thank you for such a insightful post!

    Reply
  • Tornike Beradze
    Tornike Beradze
    16 Nov 2017

    Great article, especially for me as an intern.
    There are my informal rules of behavior in any organization.
    Some of them are obvious, others not. And these are exactly the ones many trip over.
    That is why I think this text should be given any person that starts working at a company as an quick read-through on the first day. Not only that it gives good advice on how to behave, it also makes me personally reflect on what I want to achieve and where I want to go.
    Just basic questions which anybody should keep in mind.

    Reply
  • Maelle Marchand
    Maelle Marchand
    16 Nov 2017

    This post struck a chord. Although I've held many junior positions within my field, one of the most meaningful experiences was a data analytics internship with a startup tech company. The experience was incredibly relatable to that of the intern described in this blog post. I've found that the most enriching internships stem from goal alignment, and open communication, however, meaningful work relationships between interns and other company team members are equally crucial! During my own internship, I developed a close relationship with the CEO. Although it remained professional, it was very honest and candid. During my last day, the CEO was also incredibly busy but asked if I could sit down with him for an hour to chat. That hour changed my life. I admitted to him that I couldn't see myself strictly working as a data analyst in my career, but that he had inspired me to seek out opportunities at the intersection of health and business. He then spent the entire length of our informal meeting inspiring me and attempting to orient me to various opportunities. The one piece of advice that changed my life was his view on finding a fulfilling career. He stated that I needed to find my mission (i.e. objective/aspiration) in my work life. That once I had, I would need to find the machine (i.e. role/company) to make that mission a reality, but that if that machine didn't exist, that it was my duty to create it. I'm grateful to have had that chat with him, and to know that there are other empowering leaders who care about and believe in their employees and interns!

    Reply

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