Being the new kid on the block

By Luke Engel, Account Management Intern

College is generally known as a time for young adults to get a little crazy and act a bit irresponsibly – resulting in a few missed classes or a bad mark on an assignment every once in a while. It’s a time where hitting that snooze button on your alarm over and over again, before affirming to yourself, “Yeah, I can miss class today” is okay. It’s a time in your life where for the first time you are old enough to drink, but still young enough to not have too many responsibilities.

The transition from this environment to a working one is rather daunting for many students. You can no longer hit that snooze button on your alarm multiple times. You go from being the well-liked kid at college, where everybody knows your name (and they’re always glad you attended class), to being the new kid on the block – where no one really cares who you are or how much you might know. A life where your name has now become ‘The Intern’ or ‘Number Two’.

There is only so much you can do, as a graduate student, to prepare yourself for this transition into the working world. You wade through the millions of ‘Top 10 Tips for Graduate Students‘ or ‘18 Things We Wish We’d Known As Interns‘ articles you can find online or seek advice from an older sibling or friend. However, nothing prepares you as much as actually living the experience and interning at a digital marketing agency like Hellocomputer.

I’m at the stage where I need to make this unnerving transition. And perhaps the best advice I can give to anyone else in my position, is to get yourself work experience as soon as possible. If you’re in your final year of studies – do a holiday internship. Don’t see it as a time to kick back for three weeks, because you did so well in your June exams. ‘I worked hard all semester, I deserve some time to relax’ – don’t be that guy. There is a big difference in studying hard and working hard.

Immerse yourself in a working environment, work on well-known brands, and get the awkwardness of the transition into the working world out of the way. Get your name out there. Let people see what you can do, and how much you know. Go from being called ‘The Intern’ to ‘*insert your name here*’ – the guy who positively contributed to the agency by completing tasks such as compiling a brand competitor analysis for one of their top clients.

The two major things I strongly agree with, from the many articles I have read, is:

  1. Working will teach you more invaluable lessons in a week, than you’ll learn in a year at college, and,
  2. Graduates with work experience are more attractive to employers than those without.

My name is Luke Engel. I’m in my final year at the AAA School of Advertising, and I’ve been doing a holiday internship at Hellocomputer.