Little Fish in a Big Pond: The Life of a College Intern

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What I thought an internship consisted of and what it actually consists of are two separate things. I expected a lot of photo copying, getting coffee for everyone and doing much too much meaningless time consuming work. Getting an internship at Direct Capital, I immediately found that not to be true, except for the coffee, which turned out to be only a little true.

I am currently going on my senior year majoring in marketing at Plymouth State University and playing baseball. Extreme sports and music are some of my passions, while looking forward when I finally get out of school I can work for a company that has a hand in one of those. I would not mind being a field marketer or a promoter, doing something like that for a company or brand I like would be enjoyable.

As intimidating as it is to be the youngest, least experienced person in the entire building, the most important thing to understand while participating, is the opportunity that I have. I have a chance to get whatever I want out of this experience based on the effort put forth. It is easy to say you want to gain experience out of an internship, but it’s another thing to look deeper into it than that.

First stop is the marketing department; this is where I will be spending my first month. My first day at Direct Capital and I am excited to take on my first “big boy job.” First thing I get is a badge and my very own desk. Before, my first days of summer work consisted of getting a bright neon shirt and mowing someone’s overgrown lawn. I wanted more than that; this internship was the first step in the right direction.

As I am getting trained on my first task, I wanted to ask so many questions just so I don’t screw anything up. What if I ask too many, will they think I am annoying? As I quickly learned there are no problem asking questions, it’s what I am here for. Ready to be a human sponge and try to absorb any new piece of information, so naturally, I asked away.

A couple weeks go by and I have already done so much like working with:

  • Marketo
  • Salesforce
  • Sending Out Leads
  • Hubspot Certification
  • Power points
  • Excel
  • And much more!

As time goes on I am really starting to grasp how things work. One day a question comes about, “does anyone want anything from Starbucks?” The tally goes around for who wants what and when it is my turn I simply replied with “no thank you.” As the slip gets handed I know what is coming, “well would you mind picking it up,” as smiles and laughter goes around the room. My first experience of really being that preconception of an intern! What a rush, what if I screw it up or drop someone’s coffee!? The things that go through an intern’s head are often priceless. I wouldn’t care if it happened to be photocopying or getting coffee, I am just excited to have the opportunity and to stay busy.

I slowly notice I am getting better with the programs that the company heavily relies on. When I was first getting started I learned how to do certain things, but not always know why or what it was for. The more I used it I would pick up on one or two more pieces, like in Marketo. As I get assignments I finally start to learn the functions and what everything is for. These are the skills I was hoping to acquire that way I can apply them to my resume, and when searching for a job I will be able to say I that I am proficient with all of them.

The next couple of days go by and we start doing things like going out to lunch together and mingling around the office. That intimidation seems to slowly lessen, although it is still there, it’s just a little less. In such a short time Direct Capital has already taught me to have fun with what you do, play hard but work harder. These core values that they strive off of can be applied to real life, and if applied, could bring as much success to you as it has to the company.

Going into my senior year of college I have no idea exactly what I want to do, but at this time, I have a chance to get to see how a real time, running business works. One of the goals is to pick apart each division of the company to see what interests me the most. The plan is to hit every part until my time here is up, that way I get a good understanding of how each part of the business world works. What drives everything and how it all clicks is the most important walk away piece that I can have so I will have an advantage applying for jobs after school. I also want to walk away with skills that no other graduate has even if they have had an internship. Not many internships let you have such exposure to such a wide variety of departments.