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My Experience as a First-Time Intern 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

Internships can be looked at as a necessary evil for starting your career, or they can be viewed as exciting opportunities to learn and grow as an individual. Personally, I vote for the latter. 

Here at Temple, it’s basically expected that you have at least one internship before graduating. My Media Studies and Production major even requires that you complete an internship if you don’t participate in a practicum class. Internships have been known to have a bad rap (does just getting coffee ring a bell?), but I’ve learned a lot in my current position. 

This semester, I’ve been working at a magazine as an editorial intern. It’s my first internship, and it’s remote, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect before it began. Luckily, the internship has gone smoothly, and I’ve learned a lot about the magazine industry. I’ve been able to learn from experienced journalists, grow as a writer, and even see some of my own articles and graphics published on the magazine’s website and social media accounts. All in all, it’s been a positive experience. 

However, that’s not to say it’s all been easy. One of the major things I’ve had to get used to with this internship is time management. Doing internship work on top of my already-hectic schedule full of classes, homework, extracurricular activities, and a job is no simple feat. And as someone who is a bit of a perfectionist, I’ve found myself working outside of my designated internship hours trying to get an article just right, which then takes time away from my studies. 

Tip: The time commitment has definitely encouraged me to pursue summer internships, which I suggest you do as well. Not having classes at the same time as an internship will make managing a schedule much easier, and you’ll have more time to relax without thinking about all of the schoolwork you still have to do. 

My internship is also unpaid, which can seem like a downside, but I don’t have too much of a problem with it. I think that’s mostly because it’s my first internship, and I’m receiving academic credit for it. This means that my internship has a class that goes along with it, which requires me to reflect on my experiences, interview people from the company for discussion board posts, and make a portfolio website showcasing all my work. I don’t mind the class, but combined with a part-time internship that already involves plenty of writing, it’s a lot of work to keep up with. However, the four credits are nice, and I appreciate the opportunity regardless. 

Tip: I think all internships should be paid, but if academic credit is involved and you can afford it, it might not be a bad idea to take on an unpaid internship. Regardless, I recommend you look at all the opportunities available to you. If an internship takes time away from a paid job that you rely on, it might be worth it to look for other options. Though they may be hard to find, there are paid internships out there that will let you pursue your dreams while still being able to pay rent. 

One thing I’ve loved about my internship is that it’s letting me try out a career that I might not have the opportunity to do otherwise. I’ve always been interested in pursuing a career in the film and TV industry, but there’s a part of me that also wants to write and be a journalist. This internship has allowed me to be a part of the magazine industry while still learning about TV in my classes and extracurriculars. Because of that, I don’t have to regret never giving journalism a go. I am still very interested in a film career, but I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try out different career paths. 

Tip: It’s completely okay to not know what kind of career you want, even after graduating college. I suggest you take your undergraduate years to explore your interests and try out an internship in a field you’ve been thinking about. If you decide it’s not for you, you can always pursue something different with your next one. (And having any internship experience, regardless of the field, will look good on your resume!) 

Overall, I’ve had a great experience with my first internship. I’ve learned a lot about the magazine industry that I might not get in my classes, and I’ve been able to get some good experience to include on my applications for future internships. I’m happy with how much I’ve been able to accomplish in my role so far, and I’m proud of myself for taking on this professional opportunity.  

Here’s to future internships! 

Maggie Salter is an opinion writer for Temple University's Her Campus chapter. She writes about her love of reading, television, and running and shares her personal experiences as a transfer student. Outside of writing for Her Campus, Maggie does a lot of work with Temple University's television station. Since transferring, she has become a writer for Temple Tonight, a late night tv show. She has also worked as a crew member for other programs, including the women-led We Need to Talk, and has recently joined Temple Update as a social media producer. At her previous university, she developed her writing skills by working as a peer tutor in the writing center and taking a playwriting course that enabled her to win first place in a one-act play competition. Currently, Maggie is a junior Media Studies and Production student at Temple University and hopes to pursue a career involving writing and television. In her free time, Maggie enjoys being outside and going on scenic runs while listening to Taylor Swift, especially Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). She also loves reading romance and fantasy novels and watching comedies. Maggie enjoys seeing musicals at the Kimmel Center and loves to sing show tunes in the car as much as possible.