It would be nearly impossible to condense six months of experience into a single blog post, so instead I’ve narrowed it down to six lessons, one for each month of my Beehive internship.
1. The right people make all the difference.
Walking into Beehive on my first day, I expected the nerves, but I did not expect to be so wholeheartedly welcomed by the team. From day one, I felt like I was a part of the Beehive family. I wasn’t just there to get coffee or do the dreaded “intern tasks,” I was there to learn, grow and work. Yes, work. I wasn’t just watching or performing hypothetical assignments, I was working on client deliverables and having an impact my very first week. Fast-paced and overwhelming, yet accomplishable thanks to an amazing team.
Working with people you like is not necessarily something that can be controlled, but it is something you can have a say in. It starts when you begin applying for jobs and going on interviews, getting a feel for the organization and making sure its goals line up with your own. This can sometimes be difficult to stick to, especially when the job market is tight, but finding a place where you can find fulfillment in the work you do all while enjoying the company of your co-workers is totally worth the wait.
2. Everything always gets done.
This was one of the first lessons I learned during my time at the Hive. I think it goes back to having a great team – people who are willing to offer an extra set of hands, stay an extra hour after work or to simply take the time to calm you down. Being flexible and willing to step in to help out even if it’s not your project really goes a long way. If you want people to help you when you’re in a crunch, you should be willing to return the favor.
3. It’s ok to take a break.
Bad days are bound to happen, but that doesn’t mean your work needs to suffer because of it. Take a deep breath, go for a walk or just talk it out. Trust me, it helps. I’ve learned from experience that it’s better to take the time to get the negativity out of your system rather than let it infiltrate your work. I know it can be difficult to step back and take a breather when your to-do list is two pages long and you’re on a deadline, but trying to check off your tasks with a distracted mind never ends well.
4. Loving what you do is important.
It really is, especially if you plan to work in PR. The industry is fast-paced, time consuming and always on your mind. But if you love it, it’s worth it. This isn’t to say there can’t be an equal balance of work and play, but you need to be willing to go the extra mile. The way I like to look at it is this: if your job isn’t worth a two-hour bus commute, it’s not worth it. Period. I say that based on experience and I know 100 percent that if I hadn’t enjoyed the work I was doing or the people I was working with, I wouldn’t have made it. If you love it, stick with it. If you don’t, find something you’re willing to commit your time to.
5. There’s an opportunity for learning in everything.
Yes, everything. You just have to look for it. My internship at Beehive was a little different than most as I was at the agency during its office remodel, and surprisingly, I learned a lot from the experience. Life lessons like learning how to be flexible with both my time and space, practicing patience, becoming a pro at putting together boxes and knowing when to check my ego at the door. The way I see it, you have two options: complain about it or get over yourself and make the best of the situation. If you’re not willing to get your hands dirty, what’s the point?
6. Be yourself.
You were hired for a reason. This lesson was the most difficult for me to accept, but it is definitely the most important. Not only does this apply in a professional setting, it applies in the “real world” as well. We all have something to bring to the table, whether it be a good attitude, a quirky personality or an eagerness to learn; something stood out during your interview and got you hired. It took me a while to realize that even as a soft-spoken introvert, I can still be successful in a communications career. Embrace your you-ness and run with it.
Well, there you have it. Six pieces of advice from my six months at the Hive. My internship at Beehive was my first post-grad job and I honestly could not have asked for a better experience, especially right out of school. By the end of my six months, I walked away with greater confidence in my skills, a great mentor, new friends and plenty of memorable moments. I recommend applying for the Beehive internship to anyone who wants to gain hands-on experience, hone their skills and learn from a talented team.