By: Ashley-Lynn Goldstein
It was a cool May morning as I walked the four blocks from Penn Station to my new office. I was both nervous and excited. I tried to ignore the knots in my stomach as I thought about all the amazing things this summer had in store for me. That May morning was my first day of very first internship at a national magazine and I didn’t know what to expect.
When the elevator dropped me off at the 10th floor I knew this was it. I walked into the office and told the receptionist that I was the new intern. She told me to wait on the couch. I sat down and waited, growing more anxious as the minutes passed. About an hour later my boss walked into the office. Woops, I meant to tell you that we get in at 10 not 9.
First thing to remember as an intern, your boss is always right. I simply said no problem and followed her to my new desk. As an intern you are the bottom of the barrel, be prepared to do a lot of waiting around. Your boss is very busy and does not always have the time to direct you. It is very important that you are always polite and never talk back.
As I sat down at my new desk I immediately got to work on the tasks that were laid out for me. While not all of them were the most exciting things I have ever done, like answering message board questions, checking links in articles and checking to see if phone numbers were correct; I completed them all to the best of my abilities.
Second thing to remember as an intern, you are not going to like everything you are told to do. Some days you may find the clock ticking away so slowly you swear it is broken. Always do everything the best you can. You have to start somewhere and the harder working you show your boss you are the more exciting things he/she is going to give you. Also, while you may not love what you are doing there is always something to be learned.
As the next three months passed I began to love interning. While I did have my days where I was so stressed out I came home and gobbled down macaroni and cheese with french fries (I am a stress eater) the good always surpassed the bad. I loved being in the office and seeing how the magazine was run. Sitting in on meetings was amazing and taught me more than I could ever have learned in a classroom. While I was mostly sitting around and doing busy work I knew that this was my first step in the door.
Third, and most important thing to remember as an intern, you have to start somewhere. This is your first real experience in the working world. Take the bad days with a grain of salt and enjoy the good ones.
Many people ask me if I think interning was worth it when I could have gotten a “real job” and made a nice amount of money for next semester. My answer is always yes, while I didn’t make the money I’d have liked I got something more valuable. I got a taste of what my future could be if I work hard. I saw those people in my office doing their jobs and know that that is where I want to be. Interning has made me more driven to reach my goals. I feel I have more of a direction than I did when the summer first started. Knowing what I want to do (and in some cases what I don’t want to do) is the most valuable thing I could have earned this summer.