Here’s the deal—I am a confused 20-year-old college student. I don’t know what I want to do in life. I can identify parts of working that I like, but I have seemingly no idea of what I really love. Something that has really helped give me some direction, though, has been interning in two contrasting environments: a corporation and an advertising agency. I doubt I’ll fully know which path I want to take even at graduation, but I can confidently say that branching out with my internships has helped me immensely. I definitely advise you to do the same.
These classifications of companies are at different ends of the working spectrum, and it’s helpful understand their differences. The following post lists a few ways corporate and creative environments diverge.
If you appreciate having your own quiet workspace, corporate life might be for you—but don’t worry, you’ll still have opportunities to develop strong relationships with your coworkers. On the other hand, personal space at agencies is usually something of a foreign concept, but this provides an enjoyable intimacy between coworkers.
Being a steadfast people-person who can work with many different kinds personalities and departments is necessary in an agency environment in order to mesh well with the constant immersion. However, if you’re a person who prefers working alone with some smaller collaborative work from time to time, you may fit in more at a corporate environment.
The strong routine is something you’ll typically see in a corporate environment. Agencies will allow you to obtain a slightly different experience each day.
I’ve found that I enjoy parts of both corporate and agency environments, which has led me to what I call “directional confusion.” College is amazing because you learn skills applicable to your interests, but you don’t necessarily learn what environments you like and work well in… isn’t that one of the most critical aspects of your professional life?
There is one thing I can say after all of this: Becoming an adult is difficult as hell. Do what you can to make it easier. Try interning in both corporate and creative environments. I mean, who doesn’t want the chance to get paid to make friends and figure out their future? No matter what route you take, you’ll find out what you do and don’t like. Both are important. You’ll win in some way wherever you end up, and then you’ll be that much closer to deciphering where you want to take your career.