Lessons Learned #5

After an exciting, fast-paced past 12 weeks, my marketing internship at Allstate has come to an end. My internship has provided me with so many great opportunities and learning experiences that I know have helped prepare me for my future career. Reflecting on the summer, I decided to share some of the most important lessons I learned during my internship!

  1. Ask questions- Even if you think it may be a stupid question or something that you should already know, it is better to ask than to be unsure. Curiosity is an admirable trait, especially when you’re just starting out in a position.
  2. Network, network, network!!- Something I was shocked about during my internship was how willing people were to get to know me and help me out. Each week, I’d schedule several meetings with people throughout various departments of the company to grab coffee, chat about their position, and hear their advice. My boss gave me a list of people that he thought would be of value for me to speak with, and I can truly say I learned something from each person. Through this opportunity, I have been able to connect with some really awesome, resourceful people, and I presume that these connections may be helpful to have in the future.
  3. Make contributions- As an intern, I initially assumed my opinion or feedback would not really make an impact. During one meeting, I saw an opportunity to share my thoughts and found that my team really appreciated my contributions. While it can be intimidating to be the youngest person in the room, it is important to remember you were hired for a reason and you have a unique perspective. Take the leap and share your ideas! You’ll never know if an idea was great or not if you keep it in your head.
  4. Don’t just be the note-taker- My boss told me some great advice he learned from a mentor- “You never want to be the person just taking notes all meeting.” While writing stuff down can be highly beneficial to some people, it can also be perceived as absent-mindedness if you are merely writing every bit of information down verbatim and not genuinely paying attention. It is so easy to get caught up in your notes and not actually digest the content. Instead, you should try to really be present and comprehend what is being said. With that mindset, it is easier to make contributions than if you’re just scribbling notes the entire time. I found that when I put my pen down and shifted my focus to the conversation, my perspective really changed for the better.

The wealth of knowledge I gained from my internship spans far beyond this post entails, but these are some of the most valuable things that I believe will stay with me in any future field or position. I’m going to miss my internship, my team, and living in Chicago, but for now, I’m excited to return to Ann Arbor and finish off my senior year!

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