Updated: May 2
Let me just tell you, if you've never had an internship, get one. If you're debating of getting one, get one. If you don't think you need one, you're wrong and get one. I've recently finished a 3-month internship at a marketing agency and it was the best decision I could have made.
Now here's a little backstory on me. I am 19 years old and just finished my sophomore year at San Diego State University. By the end of this summer, I can now graduate a year early as well. I randomly decided last March to get an internship. I mean.. obviously a 30 hours a week of work and a 15-unit semester was not enough. So like many decisions in my life, I decided one minute to the next to start applying. A few days later, one of the few I applied for called me back to come in for an interview. I came in with my beautiful resume and I felt confident. They probably had many others applying, but my goal was to show them that I had the drive and the confidence to make me a better candidate.
I wanted this internship because I wanted experience in the field, help me figure out my likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses, plus I wanted to have more experience than others around me. So I interviewed, got it, and was part of the team.
This internship taught me so much more than I thought possible. I thought I would learn a few things, be there my 20 hours a week and work hard, but I just did not think I could learn in about 130 hours of my internship the amount I learned. This internship helped me figure out that marketing could be a field for me, it reassured me that my post-college path is in fact probably in line with my ideal future. But not only this, I had so many tasks to do. As a Content Creator and PR Assistant (and Intern), I wrote content on the site and blogs of dozens of clients in many fields from law, real estate, solar, retail, and food. I learned how to successfully create a social media planner and execute it, the basics of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. I learned how to create social media advertisements and email marketing campaigns. Each day, whether I was there 4 hours or 8, was constantly filled with tasks. It got tiring, but it kept me engaged and entertained. That's how I knew I was in the right direction for figuring out my future career.
Now, what about you? I'm telling you now, you need an internship. It helps you master previous skills you knew. It helps develop experience where you had little to none before coming in. It helps you determine what you need to work on in the future to improve your skills for your next internship, job, or career. It helps you figure out if you're on the right career path in the first place. It helps build your resume so that you can show future employers that you have the experience they are looking for. You also get to meet people in the company such as coworkers and managers. If you're dedicated enough and ask your employer if you can keep or share the documents or project you work on, you can also create a portfolio with proof of the skills you've acquired throughout the time. The time you spend at your internship can give you so much, if you're dedicated to it and work hard the whole time.
There are times where maybe the internship isn't working out. I've had friends who've had bad experiences with their supervisors or they simply weren't learning. If that's the case, LEAVE! Find yourself a place where you love what you're doing and the supervisor(s) believe in you now and see the possible growths during the time you will spend with them. If you find this, you're golden. You'll be taught well, gain new knowledge, and have a great time.