There are so many great skills and new knowledge I have learned while working at my summer internship, but nothing compares to the life lessons given to me daily by my two amazing mentors. Here are a few of the life lessons I have learned and embraced while working this summer
1. I’m not in charge
Maybe someday I will be the one calling the shots, but that day is not today. We don’t always agree with those who are making decisions, but support and help is necessary in executing an important task. If you don’t want to create a Facebook contest or think that setting up a booth in a certain location is bogus, you can always offer up opinions and advice…but in the end, you’re not the sole decision maker. Repeat after me: “I’M NOT IN CHARGE”
2. Learn names
This was a hard one for me, because I have never been good with names. This is an important aspect to breaking in to the industry, and if you recognize someone after only meeting them once before, they will be impressed and flattered that you remembered them, and will in turn remember who you are. We have hosted several media luncheons at the Nugget in which important sponsors and media are invited to attend. This is the prime time to learn names and faces, and greet them as they come in for lunch.
3. Always dress to impress
If you show up to work looking sloppy and unorganized, your boss will tend to think you are sloppy and unorganized. Take the time to look presentable and you will be able to accomplish so much more.
4. Take advantage of FREE hot chocolate, whenever possible
The break room in my office is host to a hot chocolate dispenser. I know, it’s summer and it’s hotter than Africa outside, but FREE HOT CHOCOLATE! I have discovered that mixing hot chocolate with coffee makes a nice sugared-up mocha.
5. Learn to work independently
I have always worked on projects where I have so much direction and am always told to do things one certain specific way. This is not real life. In reality, making decisions and working with loose directions is work. It’s very liberating to be able to complete projects with so much freedom.
6. Shmoozers are losers
There are always going to be those slackers who never want to do their own work, and will try to pawn off their daily tasks on to you. Sometimes people need a little extra help with a heavy workload, but those who are simply too lazy to work will not ever be successful. These are the guys who will forever be repeating “I’m not in charge,” someday when you’re their boss.
7. An intern’s work is never done
8 to 5 may seem like a long time, but it’s even longer when you get home and are still tampering with graphics on your computer to the wee hours of sunset…you thought I’d say morning. Joke’s on you all, I go to bed at 9pm.
8. Always have a battle buddy
Mine is my co-intern. Together, we are known as Double Intern. Life as we know it at the Nugget this summer would have been impossible without her. Your battle buddy is there to help you out when your workload is just too much, and to accompany you with mundane intern tasks or field trips.
9. Event planning isn’t all fun and games
Planning an event is stressful before, during, and after the event. There’s a lot of work that goes into the event to make sure it’s fun for your attendees and is a success. Maybe one day you’ll look back on your event fondly and think “Man, that was a fun event!” This will make you want to jump start on planning your next big event. It’s really just a never ending cycle. Welcome to the glamourus world of event planning.
10. Never date a coworker
In fact, never date anyone. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
11. Walk the halls with important people
They have the keys to secret elevators that will take you anywhere you want to go.
12. Be happy with your amazing job!
I know, sometimes it’s a drag to come to work in the mornings. Sometimes you want to sleep in or take off for the day with your friends. But remember, you were chosen for this position for a reason. It’s really an honor that you were given the opportunity to work at a place you love, because many people don’t have that luxury. And when it’s over you will miss it. Much like events season, you will look back on it fondly and think, “Man, that was the best job I ever had!” And in reality, it was! Interning is hard, laborious work, but when else in my life will I get the chance to lick and seal 150 envelopes?