Smorgasbord: luncheon or supper buffet offering a variety of foods and dishes; an often large heterogeneous mixture.
For those who don’t know, Smorgasburg is the name of a Brooklyn food festival that opens every Saturday with a variety of amazing vendors. It’s located in Williamsburg, which holds the largest population of hipsters I’ve ever seen–and I’m from Austin, so that’s saying a lot. The culture is exciting, the view is amazing, the food is unbeatable, and it’s the perfect stop on a nice summer day after a long week. Relating back to the initial definition: Smorgasbord represents a mixture of some sort and this week has been a mixture of experiences. In fact my brain is scattered with a mixture of thoughts. Therefore I can’t even think of a more accurate title than Smorgasbord.
Continuing to jump around my scattered thoughts, this week I saw the movie, The Internship for a second time. Yes, a second time in a week. I’m sure Googlers everywhere have been invited to countless screenings! The movie took me back through all my internship experiences: the anxiety, triumphs, confusion, and takeaways I have felt from them all. For many students nowadays, especially those in media, internships are crucial. I’ll be the first to admit that the initial feeling of being an intern is just plain awkward. You’re expected to jump into the daily work-flow of a company without officially being a part of the staff–where do you stand? How much authority and responsibility do you have? When I started my first internship I was, for lack of a better word, confused as to what my role was. I’m no expert, but I’ve made this list to possibly alleviate some confusion from other students who are just starting the internship process:
Internship Tips I Wish I Would Have Known:
- It seems really obvious but it isn’t: You’re not supposed to know everything! That’s why you’re an intern, not an expert! Internships are supposed to help you learn! If you already know everything, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.
- You deserve this opportunity. I’ve had my share of discouraging moments at internships and they usually stem from me forgetting tip #1. Don’t become intimidated by the people you work with or feel as though you were mistakenly chosen. Chances are the company had options and there’s a reason they chose YOU.
- Go for an internship that’s outside your major or expertise. My internships have all focused on different areas of media–I want to gain valuable skill sets to completely understand “the ecosystem of digital media.” My first internship was with a local news station where I was assigned junior reporter, and also worked through all departments of the newsroom. I then became the communications intern for a non-profit where I learned about the power of social media for a business, web design, publicity, and how non-profits operate from a business stand-point. Now I intern with Google/YouTube analyzing data from digital media. Personally, I feel that if I continued to intern at news stations I would have missed out on some of my most valuable lessons. It’s amazing how almost all industries intersect somewhere; get creative and find that intersection!
- Expand your comfort zone. A great supervisor professed, “Rather than step outside your comfort zone, expand it.” There’s a chance are you’re going to be in an environment that is initially uncomfortable. Embrace this chance to learn and be exposed to something different.
- Don’t schmooze! No one likes schmoozers and we can all smell one from a mile away! I didn’t know what “schmoozing” until a few weeks ago, so for those like me, it’s conversing with people solely to impress them and basically suck up to them. Schmoozing is not networking; be genuine with the connections you make.
- School comes before internships. I think.
- Have fun! You’re getting real-world experience without having to be in the big, bad, scary, real world! Whoo! If that’s not a reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is!
One of my favorite quotes states, “don’t be afraid to stand out.” That being said, don’t be afraid to intern somewhere that’s not typically in your comfort zone. If every advertising student is interning at an advertising agency, look somewhere elsewhere! If every broadcast journalism student is interning at a news station, search for other options. If every government major is working at the Capitol, find something different that is still relative to your interests. As I previously mentioned, industries intersect, and I believe a unique skill set stands out in the crowd.
That was my Smorgasbord of thoughts this week! If you have any additional interning tips, be sure to comment below. I’m sure they’ll be very valuable! And as always, here are some pictures that sum up just a few of my adventures!