How-to Advice for Internship Success -- Wanting Zhu

MediaVillage Education Foundation
Cover image for  article: How-to Advice for Internship Success -- Wanting Zhu

I am a rising senior at Syracuse University Newhouse Communication School majoring in Advertising with a concentration in Media/Communication Planning and a minor in Data Analytics. This spring, I participated in the Newhouse NYC Program, which provides students with a unique opportunity to experience the industry firsthand in the vibrant city of New York. As a participant in the program, I gained valuable insights and experiences during my internship at MediaVillage.

Looking back on my internship experience, I gained valuable knowledge and skills from the initial interview to collaborating with team members and attending workshops. The hands-on tasks, such as organizing the MediaVillage subscriber database, designing analytic dashboards and exploring different data analysis software, allowed me to apply my creativity and technical abilities.

I am grateful for this internship opportunity and the knowledge I acquired at MediaVillage. This experience has solidified my passion for data visualization and storytelling. The skills and experiences gained here will be a strong foundation for my future career. Here is some advice for students about to start their own internship experiences this summer:

Immersive Industry Exposure

The Newhouse NYC program exposes students to various media-related industries through career conversations, networking events and alumni connections. These interactions allow students to gain insights into different career paths and understand the dynamics of the media industry. I advise future students to participate in these events actively, ask thoughtful questions, and build meaningful connections with professionals. This exposure can help students explore various career options and make informed decisions about their future.

Networking Opportunities

The program provides ample opportunities for networking with alums, industry professionals and fellow students. Networking is a crucial aspect of the media industry, and the connections you make during your internship can impact your career. I advise students to approach networking with an open mindset, proactively contact professionals, and maintain those connections even after the training ends. Building a strong professional network can open doors to future opportunities and provide valuable guidance and mentorship.

Professional Development Workshops

The Newhouse NYC program offers workshops and seminars on various topics related to career development and industry insights. These workshops provide practical skills and knowledge to enhance students' internship experiences. Students should actively participate in these workshops, take notes and apply the learnings to their internship projects. It is essential to continuously seek learning opportunities and develop new skills that are relevant to your chosen field.

Reflective Practice

Keeping a weekly journal can be immensely beneficial during an internship. It allows you to reflect on your experiences, document key learnings and identify areas for growth. My advice to students would be to regularly write in their journals, noting down challenges faced, achievements and lessons learned. This practice can help with self-assessment, self-improvement and better articulation of experiences during future interviews or discussions.

Proactive Communication with Supervisors

Building a strong relationship with your internship supervisor is crucial for a successful and fulfilling experience. Establish open lines of communication with your supervisor from the start. Schedule regular check-ins, seek feedback on your work, and ask for guidance when needed. Taking the initiative to communicate proactively shows your dedication and eagerness to learn, and it can lead to more meaningful experiences and professional growth.

Embrace Creativity and Take Initiative

Internships provide a platform to showcase your creativity and take ownership of projects. Be proactive in suggesting new ideas, proposing innovative solutions and taking on additional responsibilities when appropriate. Employers appreciate interns who go above and beyond their assigned tasks and are willing to contribute beyond expectations.

Gratitude and Follow-up

Expressing gratitude and sending thank-you notes to your colleagues, supervisors and anyone who has supported you during your internship is essential. It shows professionalism and appreciation for the opportunities and guidance received. Additionally, consider following up with your connections after your training ends to maintain relationships and keep them informed of your progress. Building a strong professional network requires ongoing effort and nurturing.

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