“Ouch, that hurt,” was the first thing I was thinking when I stepped foot into Karin Caro’s car. I bumped my head on the roof of her Audi and I felt like a clumsy mess. What a great first impression! This was my first day of interning at BluChip Marketing and I was slightly excited, very unconfident, and most of all, EXTREMELY nervous.
This type of nervousness was so unfamiliar to me. It was the type of insecurity and anxiety that you have on the first day of a job. Being only a sophomore in high school with basically no work experience, I was so not used to feeling this way. It was tough finding my place at the company and I was always unsure as to what I was supposed to do. I was lacking confidence, making me very quiet. I barely talked, which was a surprise to me because I am a total chatter-box, and I found it difficult to approach my co-workers because of the age difference. I never knew age and inexperience could make me feel so inferior.
With all of this in mind on my first day, I realized that I had to be exposed to all of these feelings for a reason. Interning is more than just learning how to do the job. It is about becoming familiar with how a professional environment works and being able to adapt to any situation you are thrown into. It makes you more aware of your strengths and your weaknesses, things you are good at and things you need to improve.
I noticed that even though I was unsure of everything, it helped me become more observant and aware of my surroundings, something I wasn’t always the best at in my daily life. Not really knowing the work environment well enough made me take the initiative to offer my help to others and I also learned that getting that comfort with my co-workers takes time. This type of uncertainty never shows up in school because a student knows his or her spot. Going to school for the majority of your life, you know exactly what is expected of you.
While there were some surprising things I knew I had to work on, I was also able to recognize skills that I didn’t know would end up being so useful. This was one of my favorite things about interning, especially at 15 years old. I know that as a studious teenager, I always worried about what life would be like after I finished. I was afraid that I would only be good as a student, that I wouldn’t be able to do anything in the “real world”. This was totally not true! I never knew that using the computer as a pastime and being technologically up to date would help me so much on the job. Interning teaches you that you do have skills and that they can be applied to help you reach your goals.
Another great thing about interning is that it satisfies my curiosity. Interning is like having an open relationship, except maybe not as scandalous. When you intern, you can get experience in any profession you are interested in, but still have the freedom to know that you aren’t tied down to a specific career path. Interning gives people, especially teens, the option to experiment and see what they can pursue in life. I’m always curious about how the world works and doing an internship can give you the “behind the scenes” look on how things happen in your life, from how that sidewalk was put into place to how your favorite boy band has such great press. It is all the result of people doing their job!
I think that BluChip was the perfect company to do my first internship at. The whole company is like a family and everyone is so friendly and helpful. The company culture there is definitely something that I know I would look for in my future job searches. I have come to believe that one of the most important things to have in a job is that you have to love the people you’re surrounded by just as much as you love your career.
BluChip provides that amazing work environment as well as the opportunity for teens to be involved. Ms. Caro is so thoughtful and without the company’s flexibility in driving me to the office as well as with my work hours, I would never have grown so much as a person. If only school didn’t prevent me from doing a full 6 week internship!
Here are some reasons why you should start interning today:
- You will know how to correctly conduct yourself at future jobs and be more prepared
- You will learn things about yourself that you never would have even expected
- It will help you improve your professional confidence
- It will expand your network and professional references
- It enhances your resume
- You can get hands-on experience doing a profession without having to be tied down
- You will have A LOT of fun!