Congratulations, You're an Intern. Now What?

Use Summer Internships to Find Your Direction

By Published on .

Armand Hershowitz Armand Hershowitz
So you're an intern. Congratulations! So am I -- and now we are one step closer to the real world. Back in the good ol' days, when others asked us what we wanted to do when we grew up, we would sit back and fantasize. Now the question is: What do you want to do next year? With all the marketing jobs out there, how are we supposed to know which career path will be our perfect fit? I can't answer that question, but I do know that our upcoming summer internships will provide insightful guidance.

One of the biggest rewards from a summer internship is the ability to discover your professional strengths by understanding your personal cognitive style and unique skills. As opposed to learning that only through a college's tests and quizzes, this summer will be a hands-on learning experience. By embracing internship opportunities and partaking in team challenges, we can learn how we adapt and contribute on a professional level while discovering our areas of weakness. Thus, we can use these experiences to strategically decide which types of jobs we would excel in most as opposed to chasing after the highest-paying offer.

Given that we are going to spend a majority of our lives working, it would help to learn what job context is most pleasant. Which industry intrigues you? Perhaps you would enjoy promoting celebrities within the entertainment industry, leading the advancement of innovation by marketing technology, or spreading democracy through government communications. Similarly, where would you want to work? Are you lured to Madison Ave. by the pretty co-workers and perhaps even a bar in your office, or does making a larger initial suburban paycheck outweigh the big lights?

As we experience our internships, keeping in mind these questions will help us discover our professional strengths and corporate preferences. Although we may not be able to hand-select our first job's characteristics, an internship's hands-on lessons will help point us in the right direction to embark upon after graduation.

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