- Posted June 21, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What was your best internship?
Life as an Intern | Product Dev Intern eBay 2013
- jccarp, CNN iReport producer
I am excited to announce that I have accepted eBay’s internship offer for the summer of 2013 as a product development intern.
Last summer, during the 12 weeks as a marketing analyst intern, I lead the marketing and web design for the 2012 Hackathon hosted by PayPal as well as competed and won the 2012 INTERN Hackathon. The work environment, the surrounding environments, and the people were definitely a memorable experience. I would say that the major factor for why I praise life as a member of the eBay family is because they give you the responsibility to truly show off your capabilities.
For this past year, I have been doing similar tasks to product development for FOX Networks and FOX Sports, so I am excited for this new challenge.
I have been asked a lot of how I went to obtain these internships and how I keep getting recruited back, unfortunately I won’t give away my networking secrets because I’m going to make you work for it, but I have listed some great qualities that you can have to help your chances of keeping your newly acquired internship.
Finding the RIGHT intern is just as important as finding the right company to intern for. This post will help you, the intern, demonstrate the right qualities to land your dream job, with an emphasis in the field of marketing and advertising, which will most likely lead you to your full-time job.
First thing is first, why do an internship? Well in this economy, it is a very highly competitive job market, so it is crucial to try to give yourself the leg-up on your competition. Since employers choose to hire seniors who are about to graduate, internships can be crucial to your leg-up in the job search. The experience you gain during your internship might not exactly match your major or your career path of choice, but it will give you relative skills, a competitive edge, and most importantly, will help you figure out if that’s what you really want to do in life. I do believe though that along with helping you figure out what you do not want to do, it can also expose you to real life tasks, and if taken while attending school, you can even learn more because you can apply both aspects to each other and build to improve in school and your internship.
If you are still thinking about why attend an internship for scrap pay instead of take a full-time job, well think of it like a long-term investment. Would you rather make 25-35k a year at a full-time job right out of high school, or would you rather make just enough to pay your way through college and then make 75k+ a year for the rest of your life with the opportunity to grow and earn 10x times that? If that isn’t clear enough, I’ll wait while you do the math.
Another aspect that I try to take absolute full advantage of is networking. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “it’s all about who you know”, well that is a very true statement in an economy such as the one we in. Doing an internship significantly improves your networking opportunities by connecting you with professionals in your chosen field. Networking also allows you to develop references who can attest to your abilities.
Another reason that is vital for an internship is because of job transition. This “try-before-you-buy” approach is a significant advantage for the employer and can easily lead to a full-time job for many reasons. One crucial reason is because successful interns are frequently offered permanent employment at their internship site after graduation. For the individual who is just starting their first internship, you make think that is too good to be true, but that is not the case at all, the internship is a simulation of how competent you are in the work environment.
Another aspect that I will focus on later in my book is resume building. Having an internship on your résumé can only help you. For one, an internship shows an employer that you are not just trying to make money, it shows them that you are focused on learning new skills, and learning about how to develop your newly acquired skills into a trade. This last sentence probably made you disagree completely with my beliefs, but trust me when I say, “Focus on the execution, and the result will come”. What I mean by that is if you focus on working hard, then the money will come, the respect from your employees will come, the promotion will come, and everything will fall into place. Having a strong résumé will also help you have stronger interviews as well.
If you weren’t convinced before, I hope you are at least aware of the importance of the internship to the individual inspiring to get into the field. I will now get into the meat of my internship and list some qualities that I believe are crucial to being a strong intern.
Real quick, I’m going to give you a background to a real life friend of mine. He is a very genuine individual, but lets just say, he is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. He has had some pretty good success as an intern, and I feel he is on his way to working in the industry that he loves. I believe that the primary reason for getting that internship was due to enthusiasm. Interns who are enthusiastic about working with a company are more likely to produce good results than those who are just trying to fulfill their college requirements, or gain experience any way they can. Another strong quality that he had was the willingness to learn. Most individuals who go to schools of higher prestige feel as if they know everything. I can tell you right now, that is absolutely the wrong way to go about approaching an internship. Have the trait of being open and humble to learning something new will help you make stronger relationships, which will ultimately help you reach your full potential in the job market.
Another good quality to have in an internship is commitment. If your employer sees that you go in early every day, he will much likely choose you over your closest competition because of the fact that you truly care. Hiring an intern, only to have them leave with the job half done, can put a major strain on the business that they are interning for.
A strong quality that is vital to a strong internship for both the employer and intern is communication. Interns need to be able to communicate well with others in order to facilitate teamwork. During the summer of 2012, I was recruited for an internship as a marketing analyst for PayPal. During that time, I engineered a website and implemented grassroots marketing strategies as well as managed the 2012 PayPal hackathon which is an event that lasts for 24 hours straight, and a team of programmers work around the clock to build something that can either improve or replace whatever is needed. That was an immense opportunity for me because of the responsibility that was given to me. I also had some great help by a few individuals to help learn from who also enriched my experience. Without the communication involved, I would have been overwhelmed by the website, and I believe that would have been an awful experience for me. While on the subject of communication, I also participated in the intern hackathon hosted by PayPal, and our team won. That was also an experience to remember because that event lead me to being recommended for full-time hire by my manager, and that would have not happened of it weren’t for communication.
To read the whole story, view my portfolio here.