When I was in college we were encouraged to find a place to intern. We we’re told this was our ticket in the door. My first interview for an internship felt more like a job interview which made me hope it would offer to pay me in the future. The new employee wanted me to start right away.
When I arrived at the place I was a little disappointed as the office building was old and run down. They say not to judge a book by its cover but I was judging this place, from the empty parking lot, to the smell of the hallways. I asked myself, “Is this where I want to work?”
When the employer was two hours late, I finally was let into their office space. He had me start on logo designs right away. During the day I over heard conversations of the owners marriage problems, and slow business issues. I went home with a dead end feeling, since I was working for free and the internship wasn’t what I expected. The second day I showed up, the owners was no where to be found. They told me where to get the key and to keep working on those logos. This internship was a dead end. I figured if the owners didn’t want to be there, neither do I. I left the office that night and wrote a note that I was thankful for the opportunity but it’s not going to work out.
1. Be honest with yourself. Allowing yourself to be honest will help you discover what you like by seeing what you don’t like.
2. Work for a place that you find interesting and values you as a person. Doing research before on the place and job will give you a better idea on what to expect.
3. Be a good listener to your surroundings. Are the people around you happy? Do those who work there enjoy their job?
4. If you have a feeling the internship isn’t what you want to do, say something sooner and respectfully. Be careful not to burn a bridge that you might cross in the future. Letting the place of business know you are leaving instead of just disappearing shows courage and respect.
When I told my college councilor the internship didn’t work out she pulled me aside. “This just came in the morning and I think you’ll like it but you have to get your information to me today.” When I looked at the letter head I saw the Warner Brothers logo. I ran to my desk and filled out the application. Later that week I got a call, the interview would be in Burbank.
At the interview I realized they were looking for a team mate who would fit in with them. She didn’t seem to care about what school I went to, she wanted to see how well I would fit in with the team. The team was full of laid back thirty something creatives that were extremely different from one another. Everyone seemed friendly and excited to be working there. If I got this internship I would be driving an hour everyday to work not to mention morning traffic.
When I learned I got the internship I was so excited and getting paid for my time there was a big plus. I couldn’t wait to start working as a graphic designer. It was there that I learned how much work goes into a career. I had no life for the next six month. I was either in the office helping everyone out or on the 101 freeway trying to get home. Overall, the experience working at Warner Brothers was amazing. I knew it was God’s favor on my life because getting a job at a big production place like Warner Brothers is nearly impossible. I was excited when they asked if I wanted to extend my internship five more months.
It was neat to eat lunch on the lot where the cast of ER would be walking around in their scrubs. I was able to watch episodes of their newest shows before the season even came out. I was assisting and helping the office by doing the small office task for them as well as have creative freedom to solve problems on my own.
The more I worked in graphics, the more I saw I really wanted to learn how to edit videos. I knew if I was offered a job, it would be hard to go to school for editing. This was before learning how to edit was so accessible. There was still so much I wanted to do before I settled down with a full time job.
When the creative director asked what I wanted to do after interning, I told her I was going back to school. They threw me a good bye party and said to give them a call when I was done with school. Having such a great internship experience made me thankful I was honest with myself about the first one I had.
5. Figure out your goals and where you want your career to go during the internship. This is the best time to discover what is it you really want to do, what field of specialty would you like to work in. What you enjoy most.
6. Try to be helpful with everyone in the office. Develop new skills that you can brag about on your resume or that can land you a job.
7. Don’t complain. Be grateful for whatever task they give you. The better the attitude the more responsibilities they will give you. I did a coffee run once, and enjoyed the walk to Starbucks.
8. Make a good impression on everyone you meet. Be sure to remember names and shake hands with those you are introduce to. Having confidences goes a long way.
9. If its a non paid internship, make sure you are getting your pay though experience. Make it worth your time and effort. What you put into it, that is what you will get out of it.
10. Act like you belong there, as if you are a full time employee. Take your internship seriously, take advantage of the opportunities it might bring.
Interning at The WB at the start of my career let me know God had my career in His hands. He was leading me I never thought was possible. People doubted I could make a living off being creative, but I knew being creative is what I was born to do.