I recently stumbled upon a Forbes article by Jason Nazar, titled “20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get,” that I found to be really relevant to my first internship experience in my field. As a recent graduate and a young professional, I find all of these tips to be helpful – but here are a few that I found to be the most prevalent to me:
1. Time is limited. I know that I am guilty of feeling like I’m young, fresh out of college and have time to figure things out. But I, and every other new professional, need to really hit the ground running. I feel like, by interning at such a reputable firm, I’m off to a great start.
2. People are more productive in the morning. More complicated tasks like strategic planning, phone calls and meetings need to happen during early business hours when people are at their peak productivity. I know this to be true for myself – I come in to work with a ton of energy, but end up feeling tired and sluggish after lunch. Since I know this happens to me, I try to take a late lunch to get as much done as I can in the morning. It’s good to recognize your work habits so you can plan your day accordingly.
3. Social media is a tactic, not a job. In college, a lot of my professors stressed the emergence of new media as a field of its own. This article describes social media as merely a tactic to support branding and ROI. Nazar cautions that job titles dealing solely with social media won’t be around in another five years.
4. Get used to picking up the phone. My generation grew up in the technology era of the Internet, texting and instant messaging, so we’re not accustomed to communicating face-to-face, or even talking on the phone. However, Nazar suggests that business happens in person and through phone calls. Although I will admit that my first few calls to media outlets were a little intimidating, it becomes natural (and even rewarding to break away from e-mail.)
5. Don’t wait to be told what to do. As an intern, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that the professionals you work with are your superiors, and that you should only speak when spoken to in a sense. But even as an intern, I should be asking questions, offering to help, and suggesting ways that I can advance our client’s goals.
You can see the full list of tips at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonnazar/2013/07/23/20-things-20-year-olds-dont-get/.
Photo Credit (1): http://teeccino.com/lifestyle/113/Afternoon-Pick-Up.html
Photo Credit (2): http://starsgrouptranslators.us/languagetranslation.htm
Photo Credit (3): http://www.megagate.com/voice/business-phone-systems/
Kayla Krebs, Harrisburg Intern