Starting a new job or position can be intimidating. Believe me, I know – I just started one. The first few days left me with so many questions and unknowns.
This summer, I’m working as a marketing intern at a tech startup. I felt very intimidated before starting. While I consider myself tech-savvy and adaptable, I still felt like there was so much to learn.
The first few days were a whirlwind. I felt like a sponge being submerged into water for the first time, except the water was a pool of information and I had to absorb all of it.
While they were intimidating, I learned a lot of information during my first few days interning at a tech startup. During my first few days, I learned to ask questions, be open to criticism, understand the importance of technology skills, and balance work and fun. Find out: my first days working as a marketing intern at a tech startup.
Always Ask Questions
Many people feel uncomfortable asking questions due to a fear of seeming unknowledgeable. This couldn’t be further from the truth, though.
Asking questions shows you have the mental capacity to want to understand a certain topic. Experts call this a “growth mindset” that reveals that you have interest in something. If you did not care enough to know the answer, you would not ask the question in the first place.
Additionally, it is important you have all of the information you need to complete a task correctly. Most employers would rather have their intern or employee ask questions and get the work done correctly than be too afraid to ask for help and do the work incorrectly.
During my first few days, the company threw a lot of new information at me. Asking questions helped me organize my thoughts and avoid confusion.
Given the specific demands of a tech startup, I had to learn how to use online platforms, such as HubSpot. Asking questions helped me quickly understand how the platforms worked and clarified my specific responsibilities.
Be Open to Criticism
Mistakes happen every time you learn something new, but they are just part of the learning process.
During my first few days, I made mistakes and I will continue to make mistakes throughout the duration of the internship. By actively learning from constructive criticism, I can produce better work and understand where I need to improve.
I realized that the corrections I was getting were meant to make my job easier. Absorbing the criticisms and corrections I received has already helped me bounce back and become better at my job.
Understand the Importance of Technology
A tech startup is an intimidating work space. Everyone seems so knowledgeable on different technology platforms.
I was taught how to use a variety of different digital platforms in my first few days. This felt overwhelming at first, given my lack of experience with the platforms.
Since being here, I have had to adapt to technology to do my job. Technology is quickly changing and it is important as an intern and young professional that I continue to improve my technical skills and understand their importance in the current job market.
For example, nearly half (45%) of companies hired new employees due to their technical skills/knowledge in the past year. Having technology skills makes you a well-rounded candidate in the job market. Understanding a range of technology skills can help you understand other departments in a company and make collaborating with colleagues easier.
Even if you aren’t working at a tech startup specifically, maintaining your technical skills as a young professional opens up job opportunities, increases the competitiveness of your resume, and elevates your overall appeal as a candidate. The world of technology is changing and it’s important to keep up.
Balance Office Fun and Work
Working in a startup environment is fun. Everyone is energized, maintains a positive attitude, and is driven to do their best work. However, learning to balance fun and work was hard at first. Working in a vibrant environment means there will be many distractions.
An office is a lot different from a classroom in many ways. For one, there is no one guiding you through your every move. In my case, our office environment requires you to be a self-starter. In order to get work done, you have to be motivated and know when playtime is over.
As an intern, I was hired for the summer to do a job. Therefore, I need to get the job done. Things can’t slide by, especially at a startup. The company is expecting me to complete my assigned tasks.
You’ve heard the cheesy saying about the bad apple spoiling the whole bunch, but it’s true. If one person doesn’t put forth all of their effort, the ship struggles to sail.
A Positive Outlook
One thing I have loved about this internship is the flexibility it allows. I’ve taken on a variety of projects and tasks that fall into different categories.
Jumping at the opportunity to try something new or volunteering to tackle a project has made me more flexible and open to working on things outside of my comfort zone – and allowed me to grow professionally. Working at a tech startup has given and will continue to give me skills that I will carry with me throughout my entire career.
Though my first few days have passed, the learning is far from over. I now have a foundation to successfully complete the rest of my internship as well as grow into a competitive candidate in the job market.