When I started at Cutline almost two weeks ago, I promised my parents I would make them proud. How, you might ask? By being the best intern I could be! I’ve had different experiences in various fields, and I want to share a few simple keys to being more than just “a good intern.” I’ve learned from experience what has worked and, quite frankly, what hasn’t.
Ask questions! One of my teachers from middle school used to dock students (very rarely) for asking stupid questions. On the flip side, my dad told me the only stupid questions are the ones you never ask. I tend to agree with Pops - when in doubt, ask! The thing I always tell recruiters in interviews is that I try to be a sponge and absorb as much information as possible. I love learning, even if I wasn’t the best student in school — another story for another day.
Ask for work. In my first two weeks, I haven’t had to ask for work because there’s always something that needs doing! That may not be the same everywhere, but you should always ask for work when you have free time. This is by far the easiest thing you can do, regardless of your experiences or skills. So don’t wait, do what Shia LaBeouf and Nike say - just do it!
Know the industry (or at least try!). Almost as easy, but much more time consuming. Whatever you do with your career, it helps to take an active interest in your industry. I won’t lie — transitioning to tech from sports was tough. But all it takes is a commitment to what you’re doing. It also takes getting out of your comfort zone and experimenting with new things, reading new publications and venturing into the “unknown.” The old adage “you won’t know if you don’t try” has never been more true here, especially for someone who hated trying new things as a child.
Be fearless! It’s natural to feel timid as an intern: you’re the youngest person in the room, the least experienced and are just there to learn and help out. But that doesn’t mean that teams won’t value your input. Don’t be afraid to share your opinion — just make sure you’re not the loudest person in the room! I used to struggle with this, but it’s all about timing. Nobody can teach you the right time to share your thoughts. Just be sure to take your shot when the time is right.
Everyone in the work force started somewhere. I thought I knew all about the sports media industry, only to have my face slapped repeatedly by the hand of wisdom. There is no shame in not knowing anything, as long as you’re willing to learn. So get out there, ask questions, ask for projects, learn as much as you can while you’re there and — most importantly — remember that the team wants you there!
Special note to Owen's parents that he didn't know we were adding to his blog post: He's doing great! You should definitely be proud. <3, The Cutline Crew
Thanks for the pic, Pexels!