When I got my internship offer from the marketing department at CSC, I was ecstatic. This was an offer from leaders in the work I wanted to do, and people who had the skills I wanted to develop. I knew it was where I needed to be. Yes, I was elated – but I was also intimidated.
CSC is an international IT company with a diverse set of technology offerings. Leading up to my start date I read books and articles on any technology-related topic I came across, trying to improve my knowledge in a short time span. I worried that my limited IT knowledge, relatively speaking, would inhibit me throughout the summer.
To my relief, it only took a week to learn that this was not, in fact, the case, plus four more critical lessons I will take with me for years to come.
So now let me pass on some advice for anyone majoring in marketing and thinking about an internship. I encourage you to learn from my experience, and take advantage of every opportunity. Here are four things you should know:
It’s okay if you don’t understand the inner workings of Hybrid Cloud Management
As a marketing student, you have probably heard about things like the cloud and big data only in passing. Remember that you are interning for the marketing and communications department, not engineering. They don’t expect you to be able to build a computer from scratch. Your job is to market the products and services, not create them.
Now is the time to learn the inner workings of Hybrid Cloud Management
Put in the extra effort to learn about IT products and solutions while you are surrounded by the experts. This is the perfect opportunity to expand your tech knowledge and put yourself ahead of the curve. When you don’t know a term, look it up. To do your job to the best of your ability, you should have at least some understanding of the language of your products and services. The “newbie intern” excuse will no longer be valid after a few weeks. Your resources on the topic have never been better; take advantage! Take a moment to read that whitepaper you are posting, or watch the video when it’s finished. Whether or not you choose to work for an IT company in the future, this knowledge will continue to be useful.
Write down the programs used, skills required and task details for each large assignment
Do this, and updating your resume and LinkedIn profile will be a breeze. It’s amazing how difficult it can be to remember these details in retrospect. Be realistic about what skills and responsibilities will be best to list on your final documents, but having details on file will benefit you in a multitude of ways in the future. Before a job interview, review your lists to refresh yourself on the skills you’ve gained and any examples to support your claims. We hear time and time again that our resumes should be tailored to the job we want and the position we are applying for. Having the information readily available will be critical in this development process.
Sometimes you get to play soccer in the office
It’s not always easy to adjust to a schedule of interning full-time. Give your eyes and your mind a break! Try to get up and move around about every hour or so. My department has a mini soccer goal where we like to compete for the best out of five shots in the afternoon. It’s important to take a break and focus on something different for a while. You’ll return to your work feeling refreshed, and your productivity will increase – even if it’s just after taking a short lap around your floor!
Taylor Glazebrook is a student at James Madison University, studying Marketing and Film Studies. She is interning with the Content Hub at CSC. Previously, Taylor has interned with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation in Athens, Greece. Taylor enjoys road trips, Shark Tank and the New England Patriots.