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Take the initiative and watch your internship take off

September 13, 2016


I spent a lot of time at my current internship sitting at the front desk checking my phone and surfing the Internet. Each day I go in I’m emailed a to-do list. I used to find myself finishing everything and then doing absolutely nothing productive. This may sound familiar to some of you reading this.


I intern at a media group that runs three magazines. I do a lot of typical intern work such as creating social media content, answering phones, learning the ins and outs of word press, running errands and attending events to help set-up and tear down. All of these things I’ve done in the past for other internships or in my classes. I was getting frustrated with the same old routine. I’m working at a company that combines two of my main career goals: writing and event planning. So, what on earth was I doing just sitting at the front desk doing the bare-minimum amount of work?


I’ve always been told to take initiative at internships, but that’s a scary concept as a college student. Going outside of your comfort zone when you don’t feel 100% confident is intimidating, but it’s also 100% worth it. I know this because I did it. I went from the girl sitting at the front desk afraid to speak up to the girl who got a story published in one of the magazines my internship produces.


I took it upon myself to email my boss and ask how to get involved with freelance writing for the campus magazine they create. She put me in contact with the editor and I was told to send my pitches. I had never sent a pitch in my life, so I did my research. A day later he emailed me back and suddenly I had three stories due and only a weekend to write them. Once I sent the stories he selected one to publish in the September magazine and made me an official member of the editorial team.


The moral of the story is to take advantage of your internships. Go above and beyond because you never know where it may take you. My internship isn’t paid, which is frustrating to a lot of students, but now I get paid for each article I publish. So instead of taking the back seat at an internship, especially an unpaid one because you may think it’s a waste, find your passion and speak up. Make connections, be creative, find ways things that will make your resume stand out to future employers, and be confident. 

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