Every now and then we all need a little “oomph” -- that nudge that gets us on our feet and reminds us that we can do, well, just about anything. There’s a quote from Steve Jobs that I made sure was present in my mind during all of my internships. He said, “Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you.”
For me, that one sentence changed everything. When interns would sit around watching paint dry, I would ask my mentor for a challenging project. When the marketing team was stuck on a design for an upcoming email blast, I worked late to create one for them. Who is to say that interns cannot step up and give it their best? That’s the difference between a good intern and a great intern -- the desire to do meaningful work.
I didn’t start out as this know-all intern, mind you. After three internships during my college career, I have had the best to the worst of them -- and everything in-between. Such as running errands in 90-degree New York City humidity to developing a Los Angeles designer’s entire social responsibility plan. But even on my hardest days, I cannot say I have any regrets. Every coffee run was an opportunity for me to get in front of my employer to show them that I could be the best coffee runner ever. Regardless of the task at hand, it is crucial to execute each task with effort, willingness and an open mind (even if you’re asked to run and get pineapple Greek yogurt, only to bring back the wrong flavor -- three different times). Even the most menial tasks can result in the most rewarding opportunities.
I have quite a bit to share about the ins- and the outs- of the “pre-real world,” as I like to call internships. Due to the lack of resources out there for students, I put it upon myself to write a book. More specifically, an honest, informative, experience-based guide to motivate students to do what I strongly believe in, which is to take advantage of every opportunity and believe that you are just as smart as everyone around you. It’s up to you to find that “oomph,” work your ass off and learn something new every day. Make mistakes. Fail. Then fail again, but fail better.
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