When it comes to being a rockstar intern, 17-year-old Isabelle Scheerer knows what it takes to get the job done. As an intern at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Isabelle is responsible for managing the organization’s social media accounts and developing new engagement and research strategies along the way.
To find out what it takes to succeed as an intern, we asked Isabelle to share some of her most important learnings. Here are her top tips for how to rock an internship.
1) Tell us about your internship.
I intern at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond, Virginia. Specifically, I intern in the education department where I am tasked with creating “Family Day” proposals. “Family Day” is an event that our museum holds a few times each year in order to educate the public about a certain culture, and to further blend that culture and the American lifestyle together. At my internship, I am in charge of several social media platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and (my personal favorite) Pinterest. Through the accounts, I promote museum events and showcase various artwork, artists and collections within the museum. I have also created lesson plans for classes that may be held in the future.
2) What would you say is the best part of your internship?
The best thing about my internship is the independence my supervisors give me. They are very interested in what the interns think and how we envision social media and events, allowing us to brainstorm ideas that actually make the vision come to life. For example, since the beginning they have given me the freedom to set up the social media accounts however I would like but they have also asked to see the accounts and ideas that I’ve come up with in order to get a sense of how I’ve developed the strategy. They are able to give the interns the perfect balance of structure and independence that allows us to grow and be as creative as we possibly can be. The support and encouragement I feel while working here is truly incredible; I couldn’t ask for a better internship or job.
3) What’s been your biggest learning experience so far?
The biggest learning experience I have encountered so far has been dealing with the regulations and guidelines involved with social media posting. Since I am in charge of posting images of artwork and artists, I have had to learn and understand what can and cannot be posted on the accounts, and in what way they can be posted. I have encountered the long process of steps it takes to earn complete approval before any public posting can be done. Though it has been a learning experience, and sometimes a lengthy one, the process has helped me further understand the way business protocol actually occurs.
4) Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I hope to see myself growing in the field of fashion. I hope to be working at a big-name company, furthering my knowledge, gaining hands-on experience and increasing my passion for fashion design and merchandising. I hope to be working my way up in the field and to be on the way to creating my own fashion line. I have big dreams, and I have high hopes of achieving them, no matter how long it may take to get there.
5) If you had to give advice to another young intern, what would it be?
I would tell them not to give up and to fight for what they believe in. Most people are afraid to do something at such a young point in their life, but I think it helps you to grow. Maybe it’s scary, but I like to think that without being scared once in a while, you’ll never be able to achieve what you want. I would also tell them not to be afraid of being different or thinking outside the box. My creativity and differences are the reason I am where I am today and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Most of all, I would tell them that success takes time, so don’t be unhappy or discouraged if it takes you some time to get to where you want to be. The one thing you will always have is your passion, creativity, and drive — don’t ever let anyone try to take that away from you.