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Top Three Things I Learnt at My Corporate Summer Internship

This summer I was fortunate enough to get a 12-week internship in the marketing department at the insurance company, Irish Life. Safe to say, I was terrified going into a job and industry I knew virtually nothing about. Here are some things I learnt along the way:

1.      Work etiquette

Starting off with a bang, my first corporate email had a whopping 26 mistakes. I still to this day have no idea how I managed that! This might sound mundane but, the key is to be clear and space things out. Before sending out your first email, ask your mentor or a member of the team to just look over it so you aren’t waffling.

You will inevitably have to give a presentation at some point. It’s not as daunting as it sounds, I promise. Keep your presentation slides professional… no fancy animations. Practice presenting to yourself and ask for feedback before the real thing. Don’t forget to inject some personality and just relax, please! 

  2.      It’s ok to get things wrong

As a first-year marketing student, the only basis of knowledge that I had was from the theory I learnt in class. Everything I learned about real-world marketing was on the job. I was given tasks that I had no clue how to do before someone showed me. The whole point of an internship is for you to learn. There will be times you do something wrong and THAT IS OK!!

Simply ask as many questions as you can. There are plenty of people that are willing to help you if you just reach out. In reality, you won’t always be doing the most exciting stuff all the time. Nonetheless, as long as you learn from your mistakes, that’s all that matters.

3.      Network and get involved

I can not stress this enough but attend every meeting you are invited to. Most of the time you will have no idea what’s happening but by observing the interactions between parties, you will learn a plethora of new information. Building connections internally and externally will benefit you in the long run.

Getting involved in projects you are interested in, even if you don’t have all the necessary skills can be very rewarding. Stepping out of your comfort zone will teach you many practical skills and expand your overall knowledge. 

Interning can be challenging at times but remember not to be too hard on yourself. Just have fun and always ask your manager if you can publish that thing before you publish it!

HerCampus DCU Co-Chairperson