Managing the Start: Ways to ease into an Internship

Hi everyone! I hope you all enjoyed my first post and found something that may benefit you in your time here at Fisher. The main goal of each of my posts will be to have you walk away with a lesson or tip that you can use while starting off your career. In this post, I’d like to share some of the background of the summer and some tips to ease your transition into a new job.

Background

To set the stage, the Unilever Leadership Internship Program (ULIP) is a 10-week internship aimed at developing leaders and placing interns in the Unilever Future Leaders Program (UFLP). The UFLP is a three year accelerated leadership program that exposes you to many different functions of the business to develop both your leadership and overall business skills so you can make a real impact. This is the prize at the end of the tunnel that myself and the other interns are working hard for. To walk away with an offer into the program would be the most amazing outcome and a true testament of the hard work that I have put in not only during these 10 weeks, but overall at Fisher as well. No matter what, however, I know I will be walking away from these 10 weeks with an unforgettable experience and a new, truly unique point of view from one of the worlds’ most creative and diverse companies.

One of Unilever’s most storied and truly exciting brands is Dove, and this summer I have been  fortunate enough to be placed on their Global Skin Cleansing team. I was instantly ecstatic to be able to work for such an iconic brand, and after four short weeks I can already say the experience has far surpassed my high expectations. Having a meaningful project that can impose an impact on the business is such a marvelous opportunity for me to put the skills I have learned at Fisher into a real and practical use while learning from the truly brightest minds that marketing has to offer. Hopefully by following the two tips below, the transition into your working experience can be as seamless and fun as mine was!

Have an Open Mind

Being that we students are new to the working world, I think this is a really important mindset to carry into your first internship. Getting the chance to take on new experiences, try new things,  meet new people, and explore different cities is a wonderful opportunity to learn something about yourself. For example, there was this one time where I spent 20 years of my life not drinking coffee, then after being highly encouraged to try it, found out that it is actually delicious. Now I am probably caught in the caffeine trap forever. Opening yourself up to new opportunities reveals paths that you might not have even noticed were there, and to me that is really exciting! When getting started off with your job, I found that an open mind can go a long way. It made my onboarding process much easier to take in and assess instead of feeling overwhelmed with information right off the bat. While being constantly receptive to new work ethics and ideas is essential at the start, an open mind is something that you should be evolving in the duration of your internship and beyond. In the four weeks at Unilever, I can already identify new ways I have gone about thinking just by being open to learning and welcoming guidance from those with the experience I am seeking to gain. We are all eager to show what we know, and we must also be willing to learn and be open to new opportunities as they come!

Meet as many people as you can

Sounds cliche? Good.

Being personable is an essential skill required to flourish in the business world, and at a company like Unilever, it is the driver of success. The leaders of the company understand the power of people and emphasize the value of teamwork to win with consumers. Once I got a taste of the company culture by meeting my team, interns, and other coworkers, it became apparent that having a strong social connection with everyone will play a large part of my summer. This has allowed me to not only to connect with people on a personal level, but also opened up opportunities for them to share their experiences with me and contribute their ideas to my project. As an intern, these two aspects are extremely valuable to me and will be used to guide my decision making going forward. Whether it is talking about the World Cup with Pedro at the cash register or the mentor-ship from my UFLP buddy Katie (fellow Buckeye), networking and forming relationships is a key tool to unlocking new perspectives and having fun in the workplace. Getting to know your coworkers and interns essentially yields no risks. The absolute worst thing that can happen is that they may not be able to assist you in your project. However, the relationship you form is still valuable and well worth the effort to create.

Your Favorite Intern,

Austin

 

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