For those of you who don’t know, this summer I am living in Santa Barbara, California interning at two very different places. I just ended my first week of work and whoa, I have already learned so much and I feel like I’ve lived here for months. I knew that transitioning from college (dorms, classes, friends) to the working life (apartment, work, work and more work) would be completely different and give me a taste of the so-called “real world” that I will enter in three years time. But there are a few things about this summer experience that I didn’t expect at all, and actually I am already planning things I want to do in the fall to further prepare me for a career (but more on that later).
By the way, I am writing this blog from the balcony of my apartment (not actually mine, but my brother’s) with an incredible view.
But back to the things I’ve learned after being an intern for a week…
1) Be genuine. For a quite a while this has been my mantra for life. People respond to others who express genuine interest in a conversation, project or task. Naturally I’m a fairly exuberant person and so far both of my bosses have mentioned that it’s refreshing to see in someone so young.
2) Ask questions. I am absolutely obsessed with being prepared and if my first week taught me anything it’s that you can’t always prepare, but you can be really good at taking things one step at a time and you’ll find that even seemingly unrelated experiences have prepared you more than you think. I wasn’t expecting it but my experience as a SAAB member has prepared me so much for the projects I’m working on at a social media marketing firm. Also, anyone you work for understands that you’re young and they want to teach you, so let them.
3) Create relationships with the people around you. I think so many students focus on “networking” for the sake of getting a good recommendation for a future job, but I think it’s more than that. It’s important to get to know as many people as you can to make the office more personal and learn from coworkers with all different backgrounds and experiences. I make an effort to get to know Grace in the copy room, Kyle who works at the desk next to me, Lydia at the front office, etc. because I enjoy the work so much more and I’m directly learning from an entire office rather than just my boss.
4) You’ll quickly know what you like and what you’d change. I absolutely love my internships but for very different reasons. I’ve quickly learned what I really like about my workplace, coworkers, type of work, etc. and also what I would rather change at both places. Any summer experience that refines the idea of what you like in a job experience will be so helpful when the “real world” is getting closer!
5) Dive in to where you are. This may not apply if you choose to work/intern in your hometown, but I’ve never lived in Santa Barbara so it’s been a lot of fun getting to know this wonderful place. It’s enriched my intern experience and it’s nice getting recommendations from co-workers for places to eat, shop and visit.
6) Know what helps you unwind. When I felt exhausted at school I would always nap. It was nice getting all that sleep in, but I’ve realized that it’s much better (for me, anyway) to refrain from sleeping at weird hours and instead do other things that help me unwind. Personally, this includes shopping, getting my nails done, watching tv and movies (I actually watch an insane amount of shows), listening to music (always) and walking on the beach. Even on days when I’m exhausted, I feel productive after work if I do any of these things rather than sleeping!
I’m absolutely loving my internships and summer in SB, but as always I’m looking forward to going back to Hopkins in the fall!
Thanks for reading!
All my Hopkins Love,