My first LIM internship was at Patrick J Clayton Productions as an event planning intern. Through that internship, this is what I learned:
When To Speak Up
Learning how to communicate with people in an office setting can be nerve-racking. I was always afraid to say the wrong thing or to overstep my role as an intern. I remember one specific time, I had an idea to do something a different way, which I believe would have saved time. They seemed so set to do it a certain way, I didn't want to overstep.
Learn when the people around you do want you to speak up, or if they simply want you to complete the task you were given. Sometimes there is a timeline to get a project done, and the last thing you want to do is add more noise to the situation. Learn when to speak up, and if it's the right time and place, I am sure they will hear what you have to say.
A big part of my internship was delivering orders to clients. I had to deliver flowers to Saks, magazine offices, and many other places. This made me nervous because sometimes I had to speak with people I considered to be very advanced in the industry. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing. I learned how to speak to people in a professional way, and I also learned that people aren't as "uptight" as they may seem.
In my internship, there were always many different things happening at the same time. Every project had a timeline, and it needed to get done on time. Some days I stayed longer hours than others, because there were more projects. It taught me how to work at a faster pace but still be efficient. And most importantly, it taught me how to work under stress.
When speaking with people in the office, especially your boss, it is best to be upfront about whatever you are trying to communicate. It took me a while to learn this, but communication makes things run so much smoother. There was one time when I wanted to take a day off for a family visit. I was super nervous to ask for the day off, which you should always do no less than a week prior. My boss was very understanding and was glad to give me the day off. To request a day off, you should also try to be as consistent with your work as possible.
Working with other people can be hard. Sometimes I’d rather work alone, but this is unrealistic when there are so many things to get done. I wasn't the only intern there, so I worked with many other people. When working as a team, you have to have patience. You might think there is a better way of getting things done, but try to understand others' reasoning. Hear people out, because you might learn something new.
About the Author Carol Rodriguez enters her sophomore year at LIM College this fall. In addition to serving as a Coleader of the LIM Blog Club and being a member of the College's Cosmetics Club, she is also part of the College's Fashion Scholars program.