Let’s Talk: Internships

Let’s talk. Having college come to a fast close is hard. Like, really hard. I’m about 5 months out from having to figure out my post-grad plans. It doesn’t help that oftentimes we aren’t sure what to expect of a full-time job. This is where internships can be extremely helpful. In the Grand Valley Ad/PR major, we’re expected to have internship experience to graduate. Take advantage of this! Internships (in my opinion) are the BEST way to grow in your young professional career. I’ve had two internships thus far in my college journey. This summer, I was a digital marketing intern for the Tommy’s Express Car Wash corporate team (shoutout digi team!), and I’m currently the social media intern for Urban You, a local medical aesthetics spa. These experiences have taught me far more than what we learn in our classes at Grand Valley (no tea, no shade) and have provided clarity on my interests in advertising. Whether you partake in 4 internships or 1, here are a few things to keep in mind when completing your experience…

1. Put yourself out there first thing

  • I can’t tell you enough how crucial it is to introduce yourself to anybody you might come into contact with during your internships. I was often told to connect or collaborate with co-workers that I didn’t typically work with a day-to-day basis. Getting those introductions out of the way on day 1 eases the stress of doing it a few weeks into your internship when you’re asked to talk to this person. Plus, this shows initiative and everybody loves the intern who can jump right into the company culture.

2. Say “yes”

  • I know, I know. Our generation is told that we don’t have to say “yes” to everything, to prioritize our own interests and wants. In my internships, I was requested to complete a wide variety of marketing projects, from SEO/SEM, email marketing, content creation, social media organization, and graphic design. Say “yes” to all of them and put in 100%. While not all of them were my favorite to complete, these projects helped solidify my preferred niches of advertising. You’ll never know what new interests or skills you’ll learn when you say “yes” to the things that make you uncomfortable!

3. Don’t be afraid of those uncomfortable meetings

  • You’ll probably have a few nerve-wracking meetings with big, important people. I’m sure you can picture the ones I’m talking about. You’re counting down the minutes, shaking in your seat waiting for it to be over (been there, done that). Embrace these! They will be so tough in the moment, but I grew incredibly as a professional, and as a person, after these meetings. Those experiences will teach you the most important lessons about being a professional in the workplace.


  • Confidence is radiating, and your co-workers will be the first to notice. Just because you’re “the intern” doesn’t mean you don’t know what’s up. This is what we’re going to school for! Be confident and stand your ground when you’re passionate about a subject. Of course, internships are to learn from professionals but oftentimes, these professionals learn from us too.

I’m sure there are many more tips and tricks to be taken into account, but I’m still learning, too. Good luck in all of your endeavors, Lakers, and I can’t wait to see what you all do in the workplace.

P.S. Ad Club throws out some sweet internship opportunities on socials… check them out!

By: Peyton Lock


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