As the summer began, the start date of my marketing internship was drawing nearer. This would be my first internship experience, so I was understandably nervous. I had no idea what to expect – I didn’t have much experience in marketing, and as the full-time copywriter for the company had just left, I was going to be writing copy as well. I have writing experience, but I have never written for a company. Many things were up in the air, and I was under the assumption that the internship would be a hectic catch-up game in which I always felt like I was a step behind.
The internship started, and I was first tasked with understanding more about what the company does – something I expected. As the days progressed, I often found myself without much work to do, something that is dangerous for an intern. I like to keep busy, and at times when there was nobody around to give me something to do, I felt useless. I didn’t like that, so I decided to think of ways to be of use.
The first thing I did to fight my boredom was to take a walk around the office and simply ask my co-workers if they had anything for me to do. I even set up a shadowing session with the woman who handles the search engine optimization for the products on Amazon and other e-commerce sites, a skill that is extremely useful in marketing. Finding co-workers and learning what they do, even if it isn’t in your department, is a great use of your time and is invaluable for expanding your professional repertoire.
Another thing I did was to simply look through all of the company files, find timelines and plans that had not been implemented yet, and take a stab at some of them. For example, I came across the social calendar that we had created for the next year, and I noticed we had content planned for the month of August that hadn’t been written. So, I decided to have a go at it, and it turned out well enough to where it will be included on our new website. I also wrote some new introductory copy for the revamped catalog that is being released, which will be used as well.
Finally, if you still can’t find something to do after asking around with your fellow employees and searching through all of the company files you have access to, go online and try to learn something useful. At one point, I looked up some different search engine optimization resources, and tried to learn some more details about that. I also read about some different copywriting strategies and tools, and both of these resources really did help me become better at my job.
What it comes down to is this: make sure whatever you’re doing, you’re learning something. You want to use your time wisely, as your internship is likely a stepping stone to your future career. Any extra skills you can acquire during your time will help you along the road, so make use of this incredible opportunity you have been given and do some learning.