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Style for Students: What I Learned from My Summer Internship

summer internship

It’s that time of year – back to school! Whether you’re interning this fall or getting ready to apply a post-graduation job, we spoke to some members of the upcoming generation of working women – NYC summer interns – to hear about their experiences and what they learned. First up: Adriana, who interned at an ad agency this summer working on the Hilton Hotels account.

Where did you intern this summer, and what was your position? What did your job involve?

I’m interning at OMD, an advertising agency, on the Hilton Hotels account as their Media Planning Intern. I’ve been learning a ton about advertising and media spend. I’m lucky enough to be a part of a team that took me in as an employee (not just “the intern”) and have given me a lot of responsibility. I pull a lot of data about media spend, create presentations to show the client, make advertising inquiry calls and do research for campaigns!

What are your five best pieces of advice for summer interns based on your experience? 

1)     If you look good, you feel good: dress professionally and be put together. My office is very business casual (emphasis on casual), which is really nice because there’s not a lot of pressure on the way you dress.  But regardless, it’s really important, especially as an intern, to dress professionally. You need your coworkers to see you as a colleague and having the right look is the first step. It’ll also give you confidence in the workplace.

2)     Go above and beyond. Even on the smallest tasks, challenge yourself to exceed expectations. A lot of interns complain about having lulls in the day. Make the best use of that time and either create your own project that you think will be of use to them, research more about the company or research the industry so you can be more knowledgeable. I wasn’t very busy the first few weeks of my internship so I decided to created a step- by- step guide on how to pull data from our system for any new- hires or future interns because it’s really confusing. It has come in handy with new hires coming in and was also sent  to international offices working on the same campaign. Do things that will add value to the company and continue your learning!

3)     Show your coworkers who you are. Go out of your way to get to know the people you work with. Even a simple “do you have any plans this weekend?” will open a door for conversation. This will not only help you get to know the work environment better but also helps your shine through more. An important aspect of this is to be yourself. To see if this job is a good fit, you need to stay true to yourself and see if it’s an environment and culture you could see yourself working in.

4)     Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you’re confused. We’ve all been there—your coworker explains a project and you have no idea what they are saying. There’s nothing worse than wasting your time trying to figure it out. Ask all the questions you have because at the end of the day, you want to give a good result and that’s not going to happen unless you understand the project!

5)     Be on time. Or early. My grandpa always said, “If you can be five minutes late, you can be five minutes early.” I’m always a few minutes early to meetings at OMD and it gives me a little time to introduce myself to the people we’re meeting with and learn a little more about them before the meeting starts.

 What’s your “power piece” – the one item in your closet you can’t live without?

I have two power pieces that I pretty much wear with every outfit. My booties and a chunky necklace. All you need are the basics when you can add a cute accessory and shoe!

  • Sophie Collins

    Great tips!!