Lessons from my first week as an agency intern

I have officially lived in New York City for a week!

It actually makes me a little sad because that means I only have nine weeks left in this city I’ve already quickly grown to love. On top of my job (which is obviously the number one priority this summer), there is so much else I want to do! Tonight I’m going to UCB with my sister and her friend to see an improv show. The group is actually Amy Poehler’s improv group, but she doesn’t perform every week.

But back to the number one priority- my job. The first week went by simultaneously slowly (orientation) and quickly (actually working on my account teams). This is my first internship with an agency, so I’m still in an adjustment period. But so far I really love where I work. I can’t blog about the actual client work I do, but I can impart some general wisdom I’ve gained this week.

    • Journalists are your friends!- OK, technically I already knew this since I used to be a student journalist, my sister is a journalist and I actually paid attention to my news writing professors except the part where they told me to not do PR instead of journalism. It’s so helpful as a young PR pro to already have some of those relationships built through networking.
    • Don’t jump the gun- I expected to be thrown into projects immediately. Some interns were, but my supervisor understood it was important for me to spend the first week familiarizing myself with the account since it’s a very technical subject and one that I’m new to. As anxious as I was to get started, I realized it was for my benefit that I start slowly.
    • Talk to everyone- Even if they don’t work directly with your account, talk to them! Yes, the company I work at wants qualified people, but HR also emphasized that the company believes in taking smart people and training them. This means you get to be exposed to people from all different backgrounds and learn from them. This is also great as an intern because colleagues are open to questions and discussions. I’m also lucky enough to interact with not just the health care team but other teams as well because of being located in the same office space as the other interns and also through the mentoring program.
    • Make friends- Going off of talking to everyone, get to really know your co-workers. Even if you don’t make a new best friend, it’s nice to build a good foundation with the people you’re spending 8 hours a day with. And office socials can be fun (especially if your team wins the trivia competition).
    • Take a break- This is advice I’ve essentially always ignored from my very first job in high school up until this one. I hate taking breaks. I normally eat lunch at my desk. But working a 9 hour day with a 1-hr lunch break has encouraged me to kick this habit. I like to take advantage of the rooftop garden or have lunch with colleagues.

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