As we all know, every career — media based or otherwise — begins at the bottom of the rung. But while you toil away at data entry work, research or transcribing interviews, it’s important to remember that your time spent as an intern could be your launching pad — so it’s imperative to make a lasting impression.
One of the first things interns should understand is what their priorities are. It’s great if a media job allows its interns to regularly pitch content and story ideas, but those opportunities should be secondary. Taylor Trudon, editor of Huffington Post Teen had this to say:
It’s not to discourage or dissuade anyone from writing about what they’re passionate about or taking a side project. But it’s also important to keep your editor’s priorities in mind.
You should also be open to being mentored by your supervisor or colleagues. Don’t just listen to your boss, really take in and implement what they are trying to teach you. Mandy Stadtmiller, deputy editor of xoJane, appreciates when she sees her suggestions being used:
I really notice when someone actually takes action and doesn’t just say, ‘Oh, thanks for the good advice.’
For more internship tips from editors, read: 8 Ways to Succeed at an Editorial Internship.