I’ve been a busy bee since starting my internship a month ago. Working side-by-side the Grid Magazine team, I’ve been updating the events calendar and writing articles for online and print publication, as well as brainstorming ways to enhance their social media and pitching listicles (which are articles in list format, similar to posts on Buzzfeed). At the same time, I’ve been posting about my experiences on the Blackboard message boards for my Internship in Communications class.
It’s so interesting to read about my classmates’ experiences interning at non-profits, government agencies, startups, and big media channels like Radio 104.5. Many of them are performing PR tasks such as writing press releases and planning events, while others have been assisting with production by writing blog posts online and helping out in studio sessions.
In addition to our internships, we’ve also been reading the book Getting from College to Career by Lindsey Pollak and reflecting on her tips. Her advice on networking and adjusting from school to the workplace are particularly helpful. In fact, I plan on taking her advice on informational interviews and will be asking the publisher of Grid if I could ask him about how he started the magazine. I’ve considered starting my own publication for a while, so learning about the magazine business would be extremely valuable to me.
The class has met a few times this semester to discuss any issues at our internships. I complained that I felt antsy sitting for eight hours and about eyestrain from looking at a computer all day. I never knew how painful it was to be so sedentary. Several other students joined my grievances, describing their back pain and carpal tunnel. It was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way.
My professor, Chris Mullin, suggested that we stand up every hour or so to walk around and stretch. She also offered other answers to other common problems, like feeling overwhelmed, communication issues, and how to confront your boss about your concerns. I think these solutions to common workplace problems are the most valuable information I can take from this class.
I also had the chance to share my knowledge of creating a professional online presence by giving a presentation to the class. I’m definitely not the type of person comfortable with giving presentations—I’m more of a paper type of gal—but I felt confident in sharing an important topic that my peers would find useful.
While learning practical experience through internships is really important, I think having support from professors and other students is especially beneficial. As we share about working in various sectors of the media industry and exchange advice about how to conduct ourselves in the workplace, we can also see what other interns are doing and compare our unique experiences. These are things you can’t really discover in a book.