An Intern’s Journey & 5 Musts Before You Go
I am going to be a senior at SUNY Geneseo this coming fall and like many college students I have chosen a career path, but wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with my degree. This summer, I found that an internship is likely the best way for many students to figure out what they want to do after college. An Internship will give you the experience you need and help determine what is important to you by seeing and experiencing the various departments a corporation has to offer.
I was proactive about getting an internship and followed up a lead from a family friend. After a preliminary phone interview, I wrote a follow up email which helped secure my spot and I was hired. I am currently a Marketing Intern at LLoyd Staffing, a talent recruitment and placement firm, headquartered in Melville NY. I wanted the experience of working in an office so that it would give me not only the understanding and skills I wanted and still needed, but also an opportunity to explore what is available in the workplace.
I started a few days after the semester ended in May, and my first day at LLoyd was actually at a company-sponsored event titled, “Digital Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Customers and Employees.” From Day 1 I was in it one hundred percent! My supervisor, Nancy Schuman, LLoyd’s CMO, has given me way more responsibilities and experiences to learn and use my skills than I initially hoped. Not only did I gain hands-on experience in using social media for marketing, but I was able to sit in on sales pitches, office meetings, candidate interviews, attend seminars/webinars, and even take the commute into Manhattan to do my work from LLoyd’s NYC location. These experiences helped me learn the do’s and don’ts of working in an office, and by sitting in on several candidate job interviews I also learned what my next interview should entail in order to make a favorable hiring impression. With graduation just around the corner, learning about the different departments and everyday office experiences has helped me narrow down what I want for my future.
Besides acquiring new skills, as an intern you meet so many people through your internship. Personally, I have learned that the people and the culture is what I enjoyed the most about my LLoyd Marketing Internship. Everyone at LLoyd made my experience way too enjoyable and I am sad to say good-bye. Sad to say good-bye to working? Who knew?!
Advice to current college students… your internship should not only be fun and exciting, but should help YOU figure out what you want for your future, and what is most important to you as you consider upcoming job offers. With that being said, make the most of it; try to experience several different departments at your company or at least get to know some of your colleagues outside your specific role. I’ve learned that culture fit with your prospective employer is every bit as important to you as a candidate, as it is to the employer in making their hiring decision.
- Review all the things you’ve learned and accomplished over the course of the internship: new software, platforms utilized, processes, events attended and add them to your resume while they are fresh in your head.
- Be aware of all the departments in your company and how they relate to your department – branch out of your internship comfort zone to make work friends in these areas.
- Connect with co-workers on social media such as LinkedIn. Ask your work advisor/mentor to write a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. Update your skills on your profile as well.
- Leave on a positive note! Express your gratitude to your supervisor and co-workers. If you are interested in pursuing employment here after graduation, approach HR and ask about the application process.
- Evaluate your experience with an objective eye. What were your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you still need to fine-tune skills – what is missing in your skill set to get the job you want.
A big thank you to Nancy Schuman, and to everyone at LLoyd Staffing for giving me an amazing opportunity. A quote attributed to Confucius reads, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life” – that’s a pretty good goal for all of us.