It is the summer after your sophomore year, and you’ve the spring semester tirelessly connecting with strangers. You went to the pre-event career fair, you met with your mentors, and it all finally paid off. You have been rewarded with an internship. What is it going to look like?
I’ve had several internships so far, each one vastly different from the others, so I’d like to talk about my experience and what you should expect.
My first internship was in the summer of 2018, right after my sophomore year. I was an accounting intern for Delaware North, a company that works for the Cincinnati Reds. The sights of the ballpark and the atmosphere was beautiful, and I was living my childhood dream. The work, however, wasn’t as dreamy.
I spent most of my days at the ballpark stapling papers together, removing staples and serving ice cream and beers to drunk fans. One part of the internship actually allowed me to apply my accounting skills, and I learned the most from that.
So, internship number one was a bust.
There isn’t much to talk about regarding my second internship with a real estate company since it was just a virtual class with a couple of speakers.
My third internship, which is where I am now, is very rewarding. I don’t serve beer or ice cream, remove staples, get coffee, etc… I do real work that actually impacts my company financially, and I love it. I love the fact that I’m working at an internship and doing real accounting work.
So, what are you going to get? In my experience, being an intern at large corporations won’t feel as meaningful as it would in a smaller setting. I feel like there is less to do in a large office because you usually have more co-ops.
When I worked for Delaware North, I worked with 10 other co-ops at one point, and I only work with one other now. It was nice to share information and get to know the other interns, but when it came to how much I was getting out of my work, it was definitely less because it felt like I was sharing my work.
It feels good to come into work every day and know that you are needed and not just for coffee. This is what it will feel like at a smaller office. As far as virtual internships go, take it as you will.
If you pay attention and you are seriously interested in it, you can get something out of it. However, if you don’t ask any questions or engage with the speakers, you are not going to get much back. It is a give and take situation.
My advice for you at the internship: apply yourself. I couldn’t tell you how many times I worked with other interns and saw them apply themselves, get more of a workload and build a stronger relationship with their manager.
I was very nervous at my first internship, so I stayed quiet and did the menial work they told me to do.
Next is to be on time and be dependable. The last thing a manager wants is a co-op who doesn’t show up to work or doesn’t finish projects on time. It can be a lot of pressure to get projects done on time, so make sure you either show up to work on time or get there early.
Lastly, I want you to think about what you enjoyed most about your day at work,. This really helped me get through a lot of days that I knew were going to be challenging.
When I worked at the ballpark, I always looked forward to, being at a baseball game. There’s way too much time during the internship to waste thinking about the negative and how stressful it might be, so do yourself a favor and come in with a smile.
Good luck, my fellow Musketeers. I hope this helped.