As a young professional, I know you most likely understand the value of an internship, but as I completed my last day at AKHIA, I truly reflected upon my time spent here. It is in this moment that I truly get the value of my internship.

Three years ago, I came to AKHIA not entirely sure of what I wanted to do, but determined to start a “career”—pretty ambitious for a high school senior, no? AKHIA welcomed me with open arms and an open mind. I was exposed to every aspect of the agency, and that is how I confirmed that writing was my passion. This summer, I had the privilege of interning with the content development team, where I faced a series of challenges, rewards and lessons—lessons that I would like to share with you on how to receive the full value of your internship.

  1. You get what you give. If you want your internship to be impactful, you have to be willing to participate. Join the conversation, attend agency events, offer input, ask for feedback.
  2. Ask for help. You are not expected to know everything. Your internship is a learning experience. While you do want to show that you are proactive, creative and forward-thinking, you don’t want to sacrifice anyone’s time by trying to prove these qualities. If you are unsure of something, ask for help. Not only will you get your answer, but I’ve learned it is a great conversation starter.
  3. Believe in your capabilities. When I came to AKHIA, I kept thinking about what I didn’t know and what I couldn’t do. I kept telling myself that I was the intern and there was a specific “role” I was supposed to play. I’m not sure where I conjured up these ridiculous ideas, but this summer I have learned that you must trust yourself. An employer wouldn’t hire you if they didn’t believe you were capable, so don’t hold back out of fear of rejection or failure.

Three summers later, I am walking out of AKHIA as a confident young professional who is assured of where I want to go in my career and my ability to get there, all because I tried, I stumbled and I got up. Take this time at your internship to learn all that you can and apply it toward your next opportunity. Of course, interning provides you with networking and employment opportunities, but there is also the gift of growth—professionally and personally—if you participate.

What have you learned from your summer internship?