Happy International Internship Awareness Month! What is an internship, and why does it matter? An internship is a “Professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical work related to a student’s study or career interest (UMBC, n.d.). This month of April is dedicated to celebrating interns and the hard work that they do.
The recruiting company Career Edge Organization founded National Internship Awareness Month to celebrate the benefits associated with internships “and the opportunities they provide to students, which lead to highly qualified professionals after graduation”(AvTech, n.d.). I may be biased, but I think that internships should not be limited to students only. An internship doesn’t have to define where you are in your career - it should be an opportunity for those who want to build their skill set in their particular industry.
I, Diana Essex, graduated from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, with a Bachelor’s of Arts featuring my major in Women’s and Gender Studies and a double minor in Sociology and Gender and Media (basically a communication minor). I had a Public Relations (PR) internship under my belt, in addition to critical writing experience throughout my time at Rutgers. My love for the written word and ability to form interpersonal connections drew me toward digital marketing - where PR and critical writing intersect.
After college, I started applying, and it took about a year to land my first job. It wasn’t my dream job, but I was bringing in income and learning valuable skill sets from the professional world. Still, I wouldn’t give up my dream and passion for the digital media industry. I applied on and off for various entry-level and marketing roles with no luck. I was determined to make it, somehow. For this reason, I eventually went back to school to pursue a digital marketing certificate - I just have one more class to go!
I eventually got the unique opportunity to interview with BlueTickSocial (BTS) for the content writing internship. Now, I proudly say, “I’m doing what I love!” Writing has always been how I express myself best, and my love of learning has consistently fueled my curiosity and desire to do better. Since BTS isn’t industry-specific, I get to delve into the complexities of various fields, ranging from real estate to bikinis to cannabis research. I highly recommend this kind of dynamic position to anyone wanting to acquire niche expertise within their respective field or perhaps trying to make a career switch.
And now, here’s the start of a Content Writing Intern’s week!
7:30 am - I’m awake, either woken up by my orange tabby, Mr. Tumnus, or my fiancé, Nick. In case you were wondering, the answer is “yes” - I’m a bookworm, so naturally, my cat is named after Mr. Tumnus of the Chronicles of Narnia.
7:30 - Admittedly, I’ll hang out in bed for a little bit; it’s like testing out the temperature of a swimming pool before plunging into its deep end - you’ve got to take it slow. Eventually, my brain and I land on the same page of the day’s chapter, and I get out of bed at approximately 8:00 am.
8:30 am - So maybe it’s a little after 8:00 am by the time I’m vertical, but by 8:30 am, I’m ready to get going. As it is for many, the shower is my go-to brainstorming space - ergo, the perfect time to come up with blog ideas or article topics for the week.
9:00 am - Admittedly, I’m a total “girly-girl” and go by the mantra, “if you look good, you feel good!” A solid hair and makeup routine will have you feeling productive before you’ve even logged on.
10:00 am - By this time, I’m either meeting with the Writing Department or getting my ideas fleshed out on paper. I write anywhere between three to four pieces a week and offer creative caption support, so it’s imperative that I’m organized at the start of each day.
10:00-12:00 pm - This is when I’m in the zone and doing any research needed for my blog assignments. Usually, I tackle any new client that I’ve never written for before at the beginning of the week. Otherwise, It’s usually the most scientific or technical topic that I’ll address first.
12:30 pm - 6:00 pm - I need background music wherever or whenever I work, ranging from classical music to jazz. Today, since it’s foggy, rainy, and well - gross-out - my go-to Rainy Day Jazz playlist on Spotify is on. Then I’m back in the zone, researching, writing, and researching until dinner time. Usually, I end the day anywhere from 5:30-6:00 pm, depending on how my blogs are assigned that week. My SEO research for each piece is typically due on Thursdays, so that’s a good assignment to wind down the day. My first drafts are due on Friday, so I spend the end of that day double and triple-checking my work before submitting it for the week.
6:00 pm - I’ve logged off, it's happy hour, and the only thing on my mind after a productive day is, what’s for dinner?
Benefits of an Internship:
- Job Experience
- Research Experience
- Access to a Variety of Tasks and Departments
- Receiving Help and Guidance Regarding Your Career Goals
- Creating a Professional Network
- Adding to Your Strong Resume
- Securing Good References and Recommendations
- The Possibility of Transitioning to a Permanent Job (based on your hard work, of course!)
- Building Your Confidence (A must!)
As I mentioned earlier, internships are not only for students! However, it is a popular listing, so don’t get discouraged. There are plenty of benefits from taking an internship as an adult. After completing your schooling, going through an internship allows for preparation, connection, familiarity, confidence building, experience, and employment. If pursuing a career in the digital media industry, it’s essential to build your portfolio early on. An internship is an excellent opportunity to do this. Each piece you write is an addition to your digital portfolio, and there are several platforms to use for this, including, SquareSpace. It’s also generally an excellent way to keep track of everything you’ve done and all the skills you’ve built on.
There are many ways to pursue an internship opportunity, but I can’t stress enough, it’s all about connections! You can reach out to your network or alumni career services or join a professional association. I will emphasize joining a professional association - I recently did this in January - as it has been nothing short of one of the best choices I’ve made. The opportunities are endless, and the people you meet will either be able to point you in the right direction or know someone who can.
What’s next? This year, National Intern Day is on July 28, 2022. WayUp, an application that matches potential candidates and college students with jobs, founded National Intern Day in 2017. The day is dedicated to “recognizing and celebrating the world's future leaders. Its mission is to help bring attention to the challenges and inequalities that entry-level candidates face in the workforce”(WayUp, n.d.). Fellow interns, pat yourself on the back!
Since the first day of my internship, I have felt welcomed and encouraged by all of the extraordinary ladies at BlueTickSocial. My confidence has grown as a young professional in the digital marketing and public relations industry. I’m very excited to keep growing with and alongside BTS!