I’ve Done Six Internships, Here’s what I’ve Learned

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December 5, 2022
Read Time: 4 minutes

Six things I’ve learned from my six internships

 

 

I consider myself one of the lucky ones. As someone who entered her dream university and course (DLSU, AB Communication Arts), I’m happy to report that I’m still in love with my major at the end of my college years. I spent my days in classrooms and studios learning about humanity, communication and the arts, surrounded by people who never cease to inspire me.

 

My university dream has stayed the same—to major in a field that aligned with my passions—and here I am, living it out.

 

Despite all of this, I sometimes find myself in a rut. A pre-quarter life crisis, if I may. It’s this phase where you’re just in a constant state of questioning what the fuck am I going to do with my life? I’ve come to accept that my 20s is a time to be confused and to learn more about myself along the way.

 

Strangely enough, an effective remedy I discovered to the eternal I don’t know what to do dilemma is just…to do something. Anything, really. The pandemic came and so did the solitude and stillness that we all desperately needed. I did things I’d never done and never thought I could ever do. I started a small business, I started getting paid for my passions, I interned for companies I admired from afar, and so much more.

 

RELATED: Photo Diary: A Work Week in My Life as a Wonder Intern ft. OPPO A57

 

Three years and six internships later, here are a few things I’ve learned:

 

Yes, you can prove yourself wrong

@tysaiahfranklin

Fck around and Find Out Chart #FindOutChart #fckaroundfindout

? original sound – Tysaiah Franklin

I could tell you to stop doubting yourself, but I know that it isn’t that simple. *cough* I speak from experience *cough*

 

We can be our own enemies sometimes. I had a tendency to disqualify myself from opportunities when I hadn’t even tried pursuing them. But do consider this: why not go for it and prove your own self-doubt wrong? Just listen to this guy on TikTok: How are we going to find out if we don’t fuck around?

 

Opportunities show up because of your capabilities and potential

 

It’s hard not to have impostor syndrome when you’re surrounded by amazingly talented individuals. In a creative field like mine, I’ve often wondered why I was chosen to be where I am instead of my peers whom I admire and respect. I still struggle with this (and forever will, perhaps), but a perspective shift and ~actually~ believing in yourself makes a world of difference. Radical, I know.

 

A fundamental part of developing yourself is seeing the potential that you carry. Ask people for feedback. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What can you work on and where can you start?

 

People are inherently generous and want you to grow

 

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Don’t think of an internship as a place where you merely have to accomplish orders and assignments. Paid or unpaid, internships are great places to gain experience and maybe even incite change (although this depends on the company culture).

 

Don’t be afraid to ask. A work environment is different from an educational environment, so ask away. It doesn’t hurt to set personal goals for your internship experience, too. Decide on what you want to gain from it and go from there.

 

Sometimes, you have to be the one to ask for opportunities. Trust me, people are usually busy and just need a nudge to give you what you need.

 

Dream big, start small

 

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If you’re lucky enough to obtain one of your dream internships on your first try, congrats! Sometimes, all you have to do is show up and do the deed. This may not always be the case, but it may help to start small and build your credibility as you go. In practical terms, do consider if you’re ready to apply for big companies as some may prohibit you from applying for some time upon rejection.

 

Whether you pass or fail, every experience is a chance to learn. Remember that the important thing is to just begin.

 

Learn how to manage your time

 

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There was a time when I put too much on my plate and burned out. 1/10 experience, really. Hustle culture constantly reminds us that we aren’t doing enough. The fact that I’ve done six internships and feel like I’m not as accomplished as others (but I know someone who did eight!) makes me a victim of this as well. A sad truth, but I’m slowly unlearning it!

 

By no means do you have to do more just to emulate others. While it’s easy to fall into FOMO, strive to push yourself toward opportunities that make you excited and can provide what you’re looking for.

 

I don’t recommend burnout, but one thing I did take from my hustle era was time management. When you have (too) much on your plate, you learn the value of your time and the art of prioritizing. A win is a win, I guess.

 

Knowing the right people is half the work

 

This quote comes from a post I saw on LinkedIn (capitalism! gross!). When you get exposed to the *adult* world, you realize you cannot do great things alone. So let go of your pride, and open yourself up to collaboration. You can spend years working on your craft, but you can also expand your scope by connecting with others who have also spent years on theirs. Simply put, you can do more with the help of others.

 

After six internships, this is what I’ve realized: it’s the people you meet that matter the most. You meet some people and realize what you don’t want in a working environment; you meet people that lead you to opportunities; you meet people you love collaborating with; you meet people that care for you deeply (even after working hours); you meet people that love you for who you are and what you create. The goal is not to create networks, but to forge human connections. They have taught me the good, the bad and the beautiful.

 

 

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I haven’t completely exited the pre-quarter life crisis, but I’m better off than where I started. Give yourself a chance and go out of your comfort zone. After all, gaining experience helps you learn more about yourself.

 

 

Words Gwyneth King

Art Macky Arquilla

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