Internships are one of the best parts of college where you get to essentially “try on” a job for a few months and see how it fits you. It’s basically career shopping! Internships are important and even better if you can get it done before graduation! Just like browsing the rack at Nordstrom, you may have to try a few different internships before you feel like you found the perfect fit for you. This is such a great time to get to know yourself as a person, your likes and dislikes in the workplace, and test out the skills you’ve been developing in the classroom the last 15 years.
Here is a little bit about my summer internship with the Tacoma Rainiers Baseball Club, the Triple-A Affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.
Before applying, getting an internship before my senior year of college was not something I thought about often. I figured I would cross that bridge when I came to it, and as you can imagine, it came faster than I thought it would! I wasn’t in a rush to complete my internship requirement as I figured I would have more time after I finished up classes, but when a friend approached me in April about the Tacoma Rainiers, I figured I had nothing to lose. I tidied up my resume and sent it off with my fingers crossed. After an in-person interview, I was officially offered the Corporate Partner Services Internship. It’s safe to say I was shocked and more excited than I should probably admit.
Throughout my 10 weeks with the Tacoma Rainier’s I got to hone my skills in creating social media ads, professional communication in an office setting as well as with Corporate Partners and creating promotional wrap-ups demonstrating to Partners what the promotions they sponsored looked like.
My advice to anyone thinking about doing an internship is this:
Do it before you graduate!
As I said before, you don’t go to the store and just try on one dress, you may have to try a few before you find the perfect one. Doing an internship between your sophomore and junior years is great because it helps you get a jump start on thinking ahead to your career. By doing an internship early on in college can also help you pick a major or minor, or steer you towards new interests you never knew you had.
Do not be turned off by unpaid internships
I was not paid for my internship, and in the beginning I was extremely bummed about not getting paid, but my experience ended up being worth so much more than working some minimum wage job all summer. The Rainier’s took great care of me and helped pay me in other ways, like free ballpark food all summer (YAAAAS). I never felt like I wasn’t getting my money’s worth when I was there, because I got to learn and experience so many new things every single day. I can honestly say it was an experience of a lifetime!
It’s YOUR experience, make it what you want
It’s important to take control of your experience and work your way around to other departments if you are interested in working in those too. Taking the time to talk to people who do jobs you could see yourself in is so valuable! I often found that there was much more to every single job than what it says in their job description and it’s hard to find that out unless you seek those people out and ask questions. It’s also important to share with your supervisors skills that you want to work on so they can help create assignments and projects to practice those things. You may not be able to have a say in everything you do, but you truly will not know until you ask.
Being a college student is such a special, specific time in life and being an intern is part of that. So embrace the business casual dress code, show up 10 minutes early, and go slay the professional world one internship at a time.