“End your internship with the same enthusiasm you started it with.” I was given this advice by a speaker in one of my public relations classes prior to starting at O’Connor Connective. The speaker continued by saying, “Don’t be the intern they want to see walk out the door forever, be the intern they want back next year.” Throughout my time at OCC, this phrase was a reminder of what my work ethic should be each day.
These are the top three things I learned from my time at O’Connor Connective during my summer break from college: Ask the question, be willing to do anything, and ask for feedback. My three takeaways from OCC sound simple at first but are much more complex when I think about them. The menial tasks taught me what it takes to run an office, let alone a building. The times I worked on projects for clients gave me valuable experience in terms of preparing for my career. Having the ability to attend events was a great opportunity to network within the community.
Ask the question: Asking a question may seem simple, but it can be nerve-wracking for an intern. As the office or department intern, you may not know exactly what to do in every situation, making it embarrassing to ask for help. In my time at OCC, I learned it is much better to ask for clarification, whether it be for stylistic reasons or even how to complete a task. I wanted to learn throughout my time at OCC, and asking questions made all the difference.
Be willing to do anything: Whether it be working on a spreadsheet, sitting in on a meeting, running errands, taking care of the everyday office clean-up, watering plants, scanning papers and much more, do it. Scan and file papers as a way to read and learn from past projects completed by the company. Sit in on a meeting to learn how to effectively conduct one in the future. Water the plants as a way to step away from your desk and reset for your next task. Each task and opportunity around the office can teach a valuable skill even if it may not at first seem obvious.
Ask for feedback: Though some people see feedback as positive or negative, I see it as an overall learning experience. For me, knowing that I did something correctly made me want to create and put forward my best work. If I did not do something correctly, I tried to look at it as constructive criticism, allowing me to do better next time. Feedback can make or break my confidence sometimes, but I know it is all for the best, allowing me to learn, grow and improve.
Overall, my time at O’Connor Connective taught me valuable skills to use in my future endeavors – professional, academic and personal. Asking questions led to a wealth of new knowledge. Being open-minded each day allowed me to learn from the small tasks. Asking for feedback taught me that it can take a few tries to get something right and that is acceptable. I am so appreciative of the entire OCC team for sharing their knowledge and individual skill sets with me. The enthusiasm they shared for their jobs each day was an excellent example of how to begin and end something with the same level of enthusiasm, whether it be an internship or a career.
Olivia Blumb just completed her summer internship at O’Connor Connective. Blumb, a Green Bay native, is pursuing a degree in public relations at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Blumb is an active member of the university’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter as the vice president of communications. (Not bad for an intern!)