5 Invaluable Lessons from My Internship Journey

5 Invaluable Lessons from My Internship Journey

My internship journey commenced almost an entire year prior to my stepping foot into the office.

As a communications student navigating life after the pandemic, I made a personal vow to seize every opportunity to network and compensate for the missed chances during COVID-19.

Participating in the public relations program—a joint venture between the University of Ottawa and Algonquin College—meant being invited to events almost bi-weekly. While exhilarating, it also proved socially taxing. Attending these gatherings, I aimed to network and connect with industry professionals, albeit with the sole purpose of honing my conversational skills with strangers.

I encountered someone who would later become my supervisor during my current internship at an alumni awards event at Algonquin College. Thus, the significance of conversing with strangers became apparent.

Patrick, then Senior Manager of Student Life, encouraged our group of students to engage with key individuals (granted, he provided us with a rundown on who’s who). Months later, our paths crossed again when he became my neighbor. During a casual conversation, he mentioned his recent transition to a new role as an account manager at a local digital marketing and advertising agency.

A light bulb moment ensued, prompting me to inquire about internship opportunities at the company. To my pleasant surprise, there was an opening. I applied and interviewed, and here I am, at the end of my internship, holding a job offer.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the five key lessons I’ve learned as an intern:

  1. A positive attitude goes a long way. Grateful for the internship opportunity, I was determined to put all my school efforts to work. Tasked with diverse responsibilities—from content writing to event planning—I approached each task with enthusiasm, contributing to the booming success of our rebrand launch party.
  2. Don’t hesitate to share your creative ideas. As a freelance photographer immersed in creativity, I proactively pitched ideas for clients and internal projects. Offering my photography services to capture office ambiance and staff portraits not only showcased my skills but also fostered team excitement and engagement.
  3. Foster genuine connections. With a desk located near the office snacks… I seized opportunities to interact with colleagues, fostering a sense of community. These casual conversations not only enhanced my workplace experience but also strengthened bonds within the team.
  4. Advocate for involvement. Drawing from my studio assistant experience, I expressed interest in accompanying team members on a studio video project in Toronto. Welcomed with open arms, this experience not only enriched my internship but also facilitated quicker integration into the team.
  5. Believe in your abilities. Despite initial hesitations, I tackled assignments with support from my supervisor. Embracing constructive feedback and celebrating successes, I learned to trust in my capabilities and embrace the learning curve inherent in internships.

In conclusion, internships serve as invaluable learning experiences, providing opportunities for personal and professional growth. Embrace each challenge with a positive mindset, share your creative insights, nurture meaningful connections, advocate for involvement, and above all, believe in yourself. Your internship journey is a stepping stone toward realizing your potential in the professional realm.

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