Three Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer Internship

Jun 28, 2016

When I was younger my dad, a small-business owner, would wake up for work every day at 5:00. I would never see him in the morning. I would only see him get home late in the evening to kick off his work shoes, strap his gym shoes on and work on upkeep for the house, take me to my ballet lessons, fill out paperwork an religiously go to bed before 10:00. He’d always tell me that a hard worker never stops working.

Fast-forward to now and here I am, an intern for the largest Cincinnati-based advertising agency, Curiosity Advertising – and I also wake up every morning at 5:00. I go on a 3 to 4 mile jog, head to Curiosity, and then leave at 5:00 to go work my waitressing job until 10:00. I fall asleep (usually) before midnight.

2016 Curiosity Interns

The 2016 Curiosity Summer Interns. Danielle is seated in the bottom left of the photo.

Sounds like I’m living just like my father, and doesn’t that sound pretty boring? There’s a stigma at my age that, unless you have some crazy lifestyle that consists of no daily structure, but rather, a random schedule planned for new experiences (that make for stellar Instas), your life is boring. Well, I’ve got a twist for you. What if I told you the regular structure of practicing repetitive tasks doesn’t have to be boring? Take it from me, the intern: I can assure you that I’m enjoying every second of my new, structured life, and you can too! Here are three tips I’ve taken away so far this summer:

  1. Take a different route.
    Have you ever been stuck on the same problem that didn’t seem to have an answer? Or found yourself asking the same tireless questions? I’ve been there many times. Turns out, there is an answer: Simply try something different in your life to gain a new perspective. Take a new route during your morning commute to work. Order something different to eat. Ask a new question, and follow it up with more questions. Say hello to someone you don’t usually have a chance to talk to at work. By getting your brain to do things it’s not accustomed to doing during your daily routine, you could unleash new creative solutions that will help you answer your questions and solve your problems.
  1. Don’t do just a little; pick three.
    Too often, we fall into a common attitude that our whole life should be balanced with a daily routine and tasks that only consist of “a little”: a little work, a little time for fun, a little sleep, a little time to spend with our family and a little trip to the gym. We’re working toward the ultimate goal that a whole lot of “a little” will maximize the quality of our lives. Well, go big or go home! Forget work-life balance — it doesn’t exist. Stop balancing a little between maintaining friendships, building your career, spending time with family, staying fit, and getting sleep— you can’t do it all. Instead, prioritize. Make yourself choose three things that will help you reach your current goal in life, and commit to those things to maximize your happiness.
  1. Never stop working.
    Once you recognize what your goal is, get started on it and never stop working toward it. Let go of anything that’s pulling you away from working toward that goal.

It can all be a lot to juggle, but by taking a different route, prioritizing and never quitting, I know I’ll make the most out of all my experiences at my internship and beyond this summer.

– Danielle Schaefer, Curiosity Intern