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Intern Diaries: Lessons from “The Serial Intern”

September 7, 2012

Cassie Glenn (@cassieinmiami) is a Broadcast Journalism student who graduated from the University of Miami. Connect with her on LinkedIn // Blog.

 Intern Diaries: Lessons from “The Serial Intern”By Cassie Glenn

Not long after beginning college, you start hearing the importance of finding an internship. Not only did I complete one, but upon graduation I had four internships under my belt. After travelling to Spain to teach English for a year, I came back to yet another internship. You can call me: The Serial Intern.

As a Broadcast Journalism major, I dreamt of becoming the next Ann Curry. Through an internship in my hometown newsroom, I eagerly applied what I was learning in school. However, news was never my only passion. I love running, travel and, most notably, food. I jumped at the chance to intern for the website Yelp.com. A semester internship turned into over a year helping with everything from writing the weekly newsletter to hosting events.

With my sights forever set on The Big Apple, I knew a summer in NYC would be a perfect opportunity to test my will to live there. I landed a position as intern to the Bookings Producer at CBS’ The Early Show. The program also gave me a chance to learn about different positions at a national network.

“I became skilled at telling stories through video and graduated feeling ready to work.”

My senior year, I served as a production intern for a niche lifestyle network, Plum TV. I became skilled at telling stories through video and graduated feeling ready to work. A year in Europe settled my travel bug and I am now serving as a social media intern for the largest independently owned daily deal site, 1SaleADay.com in Miami, FL.

Employers today want to know how their businesses can use social media to market their brand and want visible results. I am learning how to do that through this internship. Every day I create content for multiple accounts across Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest. I interact with the community, coordinate promotions and analyze growth and engagement. On the side, I am constantly reading industry articles to learn as much as I can.

Five different internships, three cities and a variety of roles later, here is my advice for you:

1. Keep a portfolio

After working all those unpaid hours, you want something to present. Whether it is a video reel, online website or magazine clips, be able to show what you learned.

2. Talk to everyone

One of the best parts about interning is everyone knows you are there to learn. Do not take any conversation for granted- make connections and pick brains. You might even ignite an interest in a different position.

3. Take risks

You will hear it over again- internships are what you make of it. Stay extra hours, craft your own projects and be a leader.

4. Check-in

Internship supervisors have become my greatest mentors. Always check-in and let them know what you are up to, especially if you have an interest in working with the company after graduation.

5. Overachieve

Take notes, ask questions, arrive early, show initiative and dress for success. All clichés but qualities that will be noticed and work in your favor.

While stressing the importance of interning can be monotonous, there is no denying that the benefits come not in the money earned, but in all that you learn.

Thanks Cassie, your experiences are inspiring! Readers, have you ever had more then one internship? How many and what is one lesson you’d share? Let us know in the comments below.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy September 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Hi Cassie!!

I am an MBA student and I am on my 3rd internship. It is rewarding and exhausting to work unpaid and I know it's the experience that counts. I think in HR, I can't really keep a portfolio, so the best thing I can do is to talk about what I know and show how I am consistent with certain things (I have probably audited approximately 700 I-9's in all the internships combined!) I hope to land something after graduating or start teaching because I know that's something I enjoy doing as well.

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Cassie September 24, 2012 at 8:43 am

Hi Cindy!

Sounds like you are getting really great experiences before you graduate (that sure is a lot of I-9's!). I am sure that will prepare you very well to land an opportunity that you enjoy whether that is teaching or working in HR. Follow me on twitter @cassieinmiami and let me know how everything works out! All the best.

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