Meetings upon Meetings

My internship is devoted to providing interns with as many opportunities as possible to be involved in the whole organization. One day this week, I was in meetings for 3.5 hours(!) It is a great opportunity to participate in these discussions and trainings, and everyone in the office is starting to feel a lot more like actual colleagues, instead of just "adults who know more than me."

Professional Knowledge and Skills: New Technology

In the first two weeks of my internship, I have learned how to use MailChimp and Squarespace. MailChimp is an online application that allows users to send mass e-mails that are stylized nicely without having to know any HTML or other coding. Kent County Parks Foundation uses MailChimp to send their monthly newsletter and various “e-blasts” to send updates or reminders about events. Part of my responsibility as an intern is to upload lists of contacts from spreadsheets, write the copy, and compile and edit all the graphics for each e-mail.

Reading Response -- Intern Goofs, Questions to Ask

For the most part, the slideshow about the mistakes interns make was pretty common sense.

One piece of advice stuck out to me, however, and it was really two pieces of advice put together. Ask for direct feedback about how you're doing and why that is, and be prepared for it not to be always positive, especially if you know you've messed something up going in. Together, these two pieces of advice help to frame the interaction of the intern and their direct supervisors, managers, whatever the job titles happen to be.

Advice for Interns

There were a few tidbits of advice in each article that I found valuable.

Best Advice Response

The best advice presented by the article is to be proactive rather than waiting for instructions or additional assignments and to approach every task with an enthusiastic and willing attitude. I have past work experience in which I observed interns and employees who didn’t use a proactive approach in their positions and therefore did not make full constructive use of their time. It is very important to actively seek out new responsibilities and opportunities to utilize existing skills and to develop new ones.

Best Advice & Questions

I thought it was really fascinating that the first mistake listed was "saying yes to the wrong internship." This mistake detailed choosing an internship with a bigger company, with a limited job description. I feel like I completely avoided that mistake. I am interning with a small non-profit and it is 100% unpaid. In addition to the pay being disappointing, it is not the most well-known organization. However, I found that this is actually extremely beneficial since I have a lot of responsibility and room to learn many new skills.

Learning to Speak Up and Reach Out

The thing that I found most helpful out from the “16 Things to Ask Your Internship Supervisor on Your First Day” was just the idea of asking questions. Although my supervisor answered many of these questions on this list on my first day without me needing to ask any of them, I think that getting a better overview of the different departments and meeting some of my coworkers and knowing what to contact them for would have been very helpful. A lot of the ideas I have for moving forward with my job responsibilities make it necessary for me to work with other departments in my office.

Response to Articles aka How to Look Awesome to Your Supervisor

When reading these articles, you look at them and think “this is what you need to do as an intern to not piss off your boss.” When I first read these, the advice given was good but redundant in my case. While I truly believe that this is helpful for those in bigger companies or non-profits, I feel that in my case a lot of the advice was useless. I am interning at an online journal/newspaper, where the only thing I have to worry about is deadlines for ideas and stories.

Internship advice response

The best piece of advice from these readings was in the top 10 goofs article that addressed being seen and not heard. The organization I’m interning at is a non-profit that is the director of the non-profit and four interns in various areas, and already our supervisor has mentioned that we’re too quite. In addition to being a shy person, I don’t typically listen to anything while I do work either, and apparently the other interns are similarly minded.

Advice for Interns

The biggest challenge in the beginning of my internship at Ghost Rocket Music definitely had to do with fitting into the culture of that work environment. I am used to my job in the legal office for Grand Valley State University, which requires me to act in a highly professional manner at all times. Ghost Rocket Music is about as different of an environment as two jobs could be.

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