On monday I got my first article published on the Local Spins website, http://localspins.com/buses-by-beach-bus-benefit-unfurl-regional-music-f... . It was an advance article for a festival I'll be covering this weekend. Throwing it together wasn't as challenging as I thought it was going to be, it turned out that getting a hold of the contacts I had to interview was the difficult part.
Because my internship still hasn’t technically begun, I’m going to discuss how I’m preparing myself for this experience. First of all, I sent my work schedule and availability to my supervisor after discovering that it’s quite sporadic. After emailing back and forth a little bit, we were able to work out a day and time that I’m consistently available to participate in weekly group conference calls. I will admit that I was a little worried about my availability because my other job doesn’t offer a consistent schedule and often requires me to cover shifts on any given day.
Response to Internship Mistakes
The piece of advice that I considered most crucial and helpful from the list of ten was a combination of the fifth and the sixth points: manage your time well and don't work in a vacuum. These are two things that I've already noticed in my internship as things that could easily trip me up and prevent me from doing a good job in my position.
The "Top `10 Intern Mistakes," slideshow had some wonderful advice, some mistakes, I hadn't thought about. The most important piece of advice that I took from the article was to pay attention to the office atmosphere and mimic those interactions. The mistake was #7, "Ignoring social graces," and I think it's an overlooked mistake.
Most of the advice offered in the "Top Ten Mistakes" slideshow gave an idea of how to avoid putting yourself in a position that would make you look unprofessional in the work place. This information was helpful as many different offices have different codes and methods of conduct in their offices, so knowing that it is okay to ask and to make sure that you feel comfortable asking for explanation while at work makes it much less stressful than feeling like asking will somehow make you look less intelligent.
Internships are the first foundational layer for most students to break into the professional world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that students, including myself, have any idea on how to approach them. Both “Top 10 Intern Mistakes” and “16 Things to Ask Your Internship Supervisor on Your First Day” try and provide us mildly terrified students with the nuggets of wisdom we have yet to gain. “Top 10 Intern Mistakes” was the piece that held the most useable advice for me, since its paragraph style pretended explanations about each point from multiple perspectives.
I think one of the best pieces of advice from the article was respecting the little things in a company’s culture. This internship is 90% remote, so it doesn’t entirely apply to my current situation, but I have and will be working at a mortgage company before that has had its own unique culture and learning how to best navigate them was important. I’ve worked there four summers in a row now, and a lot of people from that first summer weren’t asked to return the next year.
The best piece of advice that I received from these articles is that calling ahead for dress codes and asking questions about things that I don’t know is highly encouraged in the workplace. For my internship, dress code is not a thing that I need to worry about, due to the fact that this internship is online, but it is good advice for future internships and jobs. As of now, I believe all of my questions have been answered about what I am supposed to be doing every week.
After reading through the articles, the best piece of advice I found was about time management. Having two virtual internships, it's crucial that I know how to balance my time wisely, especially with two different sets of deadlines. For The Black Sheep Online, I know that ideas for articles are due every Tuesday to my supervisor, and then I have about a week to write an article around them. While the article about questions interns should ask their supervisors was informative, very few of them apply to a virtual setting.