How to stand out in your intern class
I have always prided myself on the approach of doing things differently, by adding a creative twist and working harder to bring ideas to life. I believe that innovation is what pushes us forward to an incredible future. Innovation comes from seeing that the way we do things can be better, utilizing our unique perspective. This is the mindset that I brought with me to this summer’s internship at NBCUniversal.
I felt even more empowered that my business unit, Advertising and Partnerships, is led by our industry-defining chairwoman, Linda Yaccarino. She encourages us to bring about change by working harder than anyone else and daring to take risks. It’s this mentality that permeates through our organization and resonates with me as I navigated my internship.
In pitching our intern group project ideas, I am lucky to have been paired with a dream team. At first, we were seen as underdogs in numbers. Other groups had five members, while ours had only four. However, this didn’t stop our vision and dedication to the project. Unlike others, we went for topics that we could work directly with a team within NBCU. We set up a preliminary meeting with the Senior Director of Ad Product Strategy for Peacock to discuss our topic ideas. We then made a pitch deck that outlined our initial research about NBCU’s current state and how we can help grow the business of ad sales.
Immediately, the HR team was impressed with our presentation and thought we could add real and meaningful value to the Direct-to-Scale team to help grow the Direct-to-Consumer brand segment. From the beginning, our team was motivated and excited to work closely with a team outside of our day-to-day responsibilities. We were ready to make an impact.
Throughout the month, we set up one on one meetings with the entire D2S team and consulted with them closely on our research. We even did multiple presentation run-through rounds with the team and one of our managers. At the end, we received extremely positive feedback and the VP of D2S, Brian Norris, even invited us to present our slides again to the rest of his sales team.
Here’s my biggest takeaway: you should always push yourself to make valuable and unique contribution to areas beyond your scope of responsibilities. By asking questions and having conversations with those in your company, you can uncover areas of needs that you can very well help with. Especially in a virtual environment, it is critical that you be inquisitive and initiate conversations.
Don’t be afraid to ask how you can help solve people’s biggest challenges. Don’t shy away from brainstorming solutions. Do so by garnering support and excitement from your fellow interns.
When you are able to demonstrate that you can be professional and innovative, people will notice your efforts and determination. This creates your reputation throughout your team and company. You will be surprised how much your time as an intern can be impactful to your present and future self.
After leaving your internship, you can then follow up with the team whom you helped and reconnect on conversations about progress and growth. Remember, always go above and beyond.