5 Lessons I Learned from Interning

Hello! This last summer, I worked as a full time marketing intern at Octadyne Systems here in Ames! Having only held part-time jobs and completing coursework before then, it was definitely a new, fully blown hands-on experience for me. I learned a lot about what it’s like to work in my field, and I have definitely found that it is very different from taking classes and submitting assignments.

I’ve gathered the five most important lessons that I learned from my experience to share with you!

1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The people there will understand that you don’t have the same experiences, and they want you to learn! They would much rather have you ask for clarification on the things you aren’t sure about than to have you do it wrong.

2. Make sure to get enough sleep! If you’re like me, a night owl who has trouble falling asleep, then this will be difficult as most jobs start in the morning. It helped me to have a nightly routine to help me unwind each night, and to have a goal to get in bed at the same time every night. Not getting enough sleep definitely took a toll on my health as well as my ability to concentrate at work.

3. Have some sort of end goal in mind to help motivate you. Is there something you want to buy for yourself? A trip you’re saving up for? For me, I planned two week-long trips to go on, one in July and one the week before school started, to help motivate me to keep going.

4. If you aren’t enjoying your interning experience, that’s okay! That’s what interning is for. Now is your chance to “test” yourself and see if this field is right for you. If not, then at the end of your internship you can take it as a lesson. Not just the field you’re entering, but you can also see what type of hours, work environment, length of breaks, outfits, etc. that worked for you or didn’t. Either way, you will be gaining valuable life experience.

5. Take care of yourself and your own personal wellness! Get enough alone time, take care of your health, and make sure to go out with your friends every now and then. I personally liked to spend my weekends visiting parks, art museums, or just resting indoors. You just gotta keep enjoying your own personal life while you’re at it!

Good luck to those of you who are out on the hunt for internships! If you’ve already had internships, then I hope you learned as much as I did!

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