Respect the organisation and its staff
It's important to follow the chain of command in your host organisation and recognise the formal and informal reporting structures within. The golden rule? Never go around, behind or over anyone. If you have a question, go to your direct supervisor first. Each staff member has been at the organisation for longer than you have, and has a greater understanding of their role and the company than you do. By respecting them and maintaining a pleasant demeanour, your colleagues can help you accomplish your goals if you make a good first impression. Don't be surprised if you don't get along with everyone in the office - remember that you and your fellow interns/co-workers don't have to be friends, just focus on building a strong working relationship.
Part of this respect also includes dressing the part. Marketing is such an electic industry; nailing the perfect outfit can often be tricky. Our tip: Dress professionally on your first day and check out what everyone else is wearing. If jeans seem to be kosher, then follow suit. But remember - no rips or tears, please!
Have realistic expectations
Some interns come in and are disappointed in the occasional amount of down time, thinking they would be meeting with clients or dealing directly with the media. As valuable as interns may be to a company, paid staff members are often busy and find it a challenge to delegate or train interns in their tasks - sometimes, it's just easier for us to do it ourselves. Be a self-starter and find something productive to do. If you've completed a task on time, create your own work and research the company, staff and its goals. Constantly asking your supervisor for things to do may show how keen you are, but could be disruptive if they have to stop their work to deal with you - why not look on industry-related publications/websites/blogs and surprise them with an informative article that they've never seen?
Estabish a list of goals you want to achieve through your internship. This could be anything from writing a press release or helping set up/manage social media accounts for clients. In order make sure you work to your strengths, communicate with your supervisor and tell them what you want to get out of your internship. Work to your strengths or improve an area of weakness
Communicate with your supervisors
This goes both ways - if your supervisor gives you a task that you don't understand, just ask them to clarify. We've all been there and understand it may be scary or intimidating to ask what may seem like a silly question, but's it's always better to get the job done right the first time, instead of doing it wrong and having to redo it again.
─ Eliza Sum
- She runs an international
- marketing consultancy firm
- that provides small businesses with a marketing
- consultant and in-house team of creative, web development and PR experts. Marketing Eye serves small
- businesses looking for marketing support and management in Atlanta,
- New York marketing company
- Sydney marketing consultants
- Melbourne marketing consultants