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3 Things to Know When You’re Starting an Internship

THIS JUST IN: Intern Lasts Whole Week Without Breaking Keurig

 

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It’s been one…(I’m really sorry if that caused the Barenaked Ladies tune to burst through your subconscious)…month since I began my first day here at Curiosity as a doe-eyed intern. But now you’re looking at a hardcore, real-world copywriter. Well, maybe not just yet, but I’m getting there. Minus the hardcore part.

I can say that I’ve learned an immense amount already in the small time that I’ve been here. So here are three things I’ve learned from my time as a Curiosity intern so far:

  1. It’s okay to show up early to the party:
    Day one, I showed up a half hour early. Okay, if I’m being honest, it was actually an hour early. Most of that time was spent listening to talk radio and drinking black coffee like the adult that I am. You could chalk it up to nerves or excitement. Either way, I felt like the nerd who showed up a day early to her own surprise party.I may have expected confetti explosions when I first stepped out of the elevator, but instead I faced an empty, dark, (but super hip) office. I wondered if it was possible to get fired for being too early? I found my desk under the wall mural of the agency’s battle cry: “We eat impossible for breakfast. We always take the smarter fork. If we’re not having fun, we’re doing it wrong. We make good gooder. To teach is to learn twice. We’ve got your six.” As I sat there looking up at these noble words, I began to project myself further into the day. I wondered what it would be like in the next half hour as more Curiositeers trickled in to embark on their day’s adventures. Then I wondered what Curiosity had in store for me.Sure enough, in the brief empty silence my nerves started to fade as my curiosity to find out grew. So, while being early meant I beat the morning rush hour and the line for the Keurig, it also allowed the little extra time to take it all in and prepare to embark on the adventure ahead.
  2. Always ask questions:
    Curiosity killed the cat, but it’s probably because he didn’t ask questions. It doesn’t make you dumb or any less qualified for your job; it simply means you want to learn something new and do your best at it. It’s probably one of the most important nuggets of knowledge to hold onto in any internship or career.I’ve found that it’s better to ask questions than to carry on blindly. But questions don’t have to just be limited to carrying out a specific task or catching people’s names before you email them. I’ve found it interesting asking people in different departments about their work and what a day in the life is like for them. The agency also provides us with mentors from different departments for us to meet with every week to discuss opportunities within the agency so we gain a broader perspective of how the agency works. Asking questions shows my genuine interest in the agency as a whole. If there’s a meeting about an account that interests me, I ask if I can join in. If I’m curious about what Insights is up to on the other side (cue Adele), or what other fellow copywriters are vigorously typing away at on their keyboards, I simply ask to get involved. Odds are the answer won’t be no.
  3. Just because the Keurig makes funny noises, doesn’t mean it’s broken:
    Waiting for my coffee to brew from the Keurig taught me most about patience and perseverance. With every last gasp of steam from this little vessel of caffeinated gold and a cup full of pure power, I feel like I can conquer the world.

Although there are no handbooks with all the answers (unless it’s in the form of a Skyline Chili menu), and every experience is different, I know the above three little nuggets of knowledge that I’ve accumulated so far are sure signs I’ve struck gold.

—Chloe Borah, Curiosity Intern

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