When my junior year of high school was coming to an end, a teacher directed me towards an internship opportunity at a large agency. I immediately took the initiative to send my resume. I wore my best business casual outfit, killed my interview, and received the callback that I had gotten the position as an intern.
When my senior year came around, my perspective quickly changed. The projects I immediately started working on were not necessarily fun. In a cubicle, I sat and filled out spreadsheets or transcribed two hour conference calls. Usually, I was exhausted, because I had to wake up early for school, continue my day interning until the evening, drive home in traffic, and then find the energy to focus on schoolwork. Yawning under fluorescent lights while working on spreadsheets for five continuous hours was not how I pictured my internship, but being in this environment was quite the wake-up call.
I learned so much in my year as an intern, and I am extremely grateful to my agency for giving me a chance. I learned about the dynamic of advertising, billing, clients, and insane amounts of pressure. I learned about the importance of professionalism and work relationships. I learned things which my chaotic high school never bred- such as simply saying hello or good morning to people each day. At school, I could be on my phone all day procrastinating if I chose to. At the agency, I was only on Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter in order to help a client.
In the end, I took away the fact that many people in the communications industry work just as hard as people in more “respected” industries like medicine or finance. With many jobs and many internships in my future, I will be forced to do things I will not necessarily want to do. Although I will spend time feeling frustrated, exhausted, and under appreciated, working hard and remaining respectful at all times will always give me something to be extremely proud of. Interning isn’t just a resume builder, it is a look into universe where your expectations can greatly differ from the reality.
-- Brittany Blain