Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

The Top Five Takeaways from my Summer Internship

For the last two months, I have been a summer intern in the Babson College Marketing department. During that time, I’ve worked closely with Babson’s brand journalist on various content and projects. This is the first real internship I have held and the experience of working closely with others in a professional capacity will undoubtedly be useful knowledge for future internships and careers after Babson.

Through my day-to-day duties in the department, I have been able to explore my interest in marketing, content marketing in particular, while also building up my resume in the process. Although the internship is officially wrapping up this week, I have several key takeaways from the experience that will carry over into other aspects of my life such as schoolwork and future internships. Here are the top five things I learned while interning at Babson Marketing:

  1. If you are unsure of what your boss is looking for in an assignment, clarify with them before going ahead to make sure you are both on the same page. While this takeaway seems like simple advice on the surface, many people can feel intimidated by their first boss and thus refrain from asking too many questions, which can lead to miscommunication. In my case, I had a Slack thread with my boss that was open all day, which enhanced communications and made asking quick questions much simpler.
  2. Attack each assignment you are given with the same level of enthusiasm and work ethic. With an internship, you will get some assignments that interest you more than others, but it is important to treat each task the same, even if it may be a bit dry or tedious. The harder you work the more useful experience you will get out of each project and the internship as a whole.
  3. Make sure to take short breaks throughout the workday to avoid mental fatigue and loss of focus as the day wears on. Although you don’t want to spend too much time distracted from work, I’ve found that short breaks such as taking a walk around the room or visiting a favorite website can help me avoid mental overload and maintain focus on tasks throughout the day.
  4. Take note of how others handle projects such as writing articles or marketing copy and use their examples as a guide for your own work. Working in content marketing, a large part of my job consisted of reading and editing old articles and copy, which was extremely helpful as a reference for creating my own work, especially when I was new to the process.
  5. At the end of an internship, take a moment to reflect on the experience and ask yourself if you could see working in that industry as a career. Ultimately, the purpose of internships is to gain experience working in specific fields in order to determine if that is something you find interesting and are passionate about. If it is, then the experience was valuable and could lead to a full-time job in the future. If you did not find the work interesting, that experience is even more valuable because it helps rule out certain careers and narrow down future options.

Each internship is unique, but employing those five practices greatly enhanced my experience working in a professional environment for the first time and helped me get the most out of this opportunity.