An internship should be a learning experience that gives a person an idea of situations that they would most likely go through during their career.
An internship should also help to define exactly what a person’s career goals are, show them what skills they need to improve on, help them to develop good work habits and help them to develop relationships with people that may be a door-opener to their future career.
Journalism major, Victoria Rodgers, got the privilege to intern with WebMD in Atlanta, GA. during the summer of 2011.
She said that although most of her journalism classes helped her to succeed in the work arena, there were some things that Auburn University could not have prepared her for.
“ Taking Feature Writing, Reporting, Practicum and Newspaper Editing and Design taught me the fundamentals and polish the basic journalism skills,” said Rodgers.
“ But there were some things the university could not have prepared me for. WebMD’s feature articles have its own writing style and tone for its users. It was hard to adjust to this because my brain was wired for AP Style.”
Rodgers said that working at WebMD allowed her to see what it is really like to work in a professional environment.
“ Working more than eight hours a day just to keep up with the demands of the job was a must,” said Rodgers. “It also showed me that no matter the age, you have to become comfortable with your co-workers to get assignments done. Teamwork is big at WebMD.”
Rodgers learned that she had received her internship in March 2011. She started in May of that summer and ended that August before classes started. She said that she was elated when she received the news that WebMD had chosen her but she was also nervous because she didn’t know what to expect.
“ The first day at WebMD was full of jitters. I walked into the office having no idea what things would be like, said Rodgers.
“ Once I finally sat down at my desk and talked to my supervisor about my duties, I still had no idea what to expect. At the time I did not think my job had anything to do with journalism in spite of the job description, but later I realized my job explored all aspects of the journalism field.”
While interning, Rodgers wrote feature stories and blogs, help launched their new teen site, conducted interviews with doctors, attended meetings with the editorial staff, conducted focus groups and did a lot of computer and programming work.
She says that this internship ended up being perfect for her because it fulfilled her graduation requirement, she gained a lot of experience and it was great being able to work in her hometown.
“ I would encourage all students to get an internship because it gives you a glimpse of what the real working world is like,” said Rodgers.
“ I had to adjust to working in a new environment and accept the challenges of being a team player with others who are not considered my peers. Working with older people can be intimidating, but I was fortunate enough to work with friendly people that helped me every time I had a question or concern.”