Why Internships are So Valuable For College Students
This past summer, I had the opportunity to join ZayZoon as a marketing intern! As a current student at The Ohio State University, finding an internship can be a daunting task, but one that is extremely rewarding. Here are just a few of the valuable takeaways I’ve learned and why having an internship experience is so important:
Learning to Network:
One of the most, if not the, most vital gift an internship can give you is networking skills. Since ZayZoon is a growing business, I had the chance to have conversations with employees outside of the marketing department. This gave me insight and the possibility to learn how to network with those who share different interests than me. I learned that a lot of networking is about being able to actively listen as well as relate to people. It is important to plan and understand what their role is in the company before having a conversation. Not one person is unimportant.
Opportunity to Discover Your Passion:
Marketing is a very broad term when it comes to career choices. There are many different paths you could follow within the world of marketing and taking on an internship gives you the ability to discover where your interests lie. Personally, I discovered that I am intrigued by the product and design aspects of marketing. ZayZoon then allowed me to pursue this side of their company the further I progressed through my internship. The more professional experience I gained, the more I was able to hone in on my own passions.
Finding a Mentor:
As a student who is going through their first professional job experience, finding a mentor to guide you is necessary. Luckily, I was connected to this internship through my own personal mentor, Emmi Banner, who works at ZayZoon, but I found many other mentors along the way. They helped answer any questions I had, encouraged me to find my voice, and speak up in meetings. These simple, but easy, motivations have helped build my confidence. I learned my perspective is unique and one that deserves to be heard. Many people are willing to be a mentor to young professionals, do not be afraid to reach out!
Application of Classroom Concepts:
For many, an internship after their second year in college is the first of many professional experiences. At ZayZoon, it was the first time I was able to apply some of the things I mastered within the classroom to projects that I was working on. It is rewarding to know that many of the things you learn inside the classroom are used in the real world, however, it is how you are able to apply these concepts that matter. ZayZoon gave me the creative freedom to
Mastering Communication/Soft Skills:
Not only are companies looking for hard skills, but soft skills are also becoming more critical to have in your back pocket. Since ZayZoon is a fully remote company, communication is key. I learned how to communicate effectively by keeping my thoughts concise and simple. Another soft skill I was able to master through ZayZoon was public speaking. Although it is only through a screen, some nerves still arise as if you were speaking to an audience. My mentor relayed a quote to me about public speaking from Aristotle, "Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them." This has stuck with me throughout my internship and significantly assisted me in developing the framework for any presentation.
Having an internship as a college student has allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I urge you to invest your time in finding an internship that is right for you because it will set you up for success in the future. You gain exposure to your future career while expanding your network, advancing your skillset, and establishing some ground in your selected industry.
Thank you so much to everyone at ZayZoon for letting me join the team and make an impact this summer, I could not be more grateful!