Meet a STUdent-Intern: St. Thomas University Communication and Media Studies student, Tiffany Carrazana, learned more than just a new skill during her internship. Tiffany learned the importance of speaking up in the workplace.
In Her Own Words:
It never hurts to ask…
The company I work for uses CreativeCore Group for their marketing needs. So, I met with the owner to ask if I can put him as a reference on the application to be a summer intern in the graphic design department. Instead, he picked up the phone, called the owner of CreativeCore Group and asked if he was willing to give me the opportunity to do my internship at his company.
I like to say I secured my internship through my networking skills, because if it wasn’t for my good relationship with my owner, and the instinct of knowing it never hurts to ask, I may have not been able to secure the internship opportunity.
Speaking up allowed me to learn new skills…
My primary responsibilities at CreativeCore Group were to create flyers, GIFs and content for the accounts they managed, including Petland Florida and Petland Texas’ social media channels, flyers for featured products of the month, and Instagram stories. I also did the same for the CreativeCore Group social media accounts.
But that wasn’t the case when I began my internship. When I first started, I spoke with my supervisor about my graphic design background and skills and how I am always willing to learn. Within a few weeks, I found I could finish tasks within the first two hours of my shift and would be there creating templates for the same flyer over and over again. I was not learning, and I was starting to hate my internship.
Several times I spoke with my supervisor and requested more work and/or the opportunity to work on more complicated projects, but nothing changed. So, I made the decision to meet with his supervisor, explained the situation, and expressed all my knowledge.
The following day, I was given the task to learn a program completely new to me called AfterEffects (AE) and to utilize the new skills to create content for another account.
I was SO excited and would come into my internship happy as can be; taught myself how to expertly use the AfterEffects program by watching YouTube tutorials; and skillfully created content, all while the office puppy slept in my arms!
And a new lesson about myself…
When I felt my immediate supervisor was not understanding my concerns, I learned I needed to gain the courage to speak up for myself even further and prove I am knowledgeable in the field I have chosen to pursue, and can work at the same pace as everyone else around me. Sometimes, even faster and more effectively. This issue gave me real-world experiences and also opened my eyes to know how to handle a similar situation if I run into it again.
This experience also taught me I still have space to grow in my graphic design knowledge and still have A LOT more to learn about marketing. As for my career path, the experience reinforced I still have the commitment to myself to own my own company in the future. And, I am going to need to know how to market myself and the company effectively to reach the clientele I need.
The best advice I can give to my fellow Bobcats is to create a solid, creative and skill-oriented resume to make your internship application stand out from the rest. Give prospective companies a reason why they should select YOU above every other applicant. Speak up when you have questions, want to learn more, do more and have ideas to offer.
Towards the end of your internship, I highly recommend sending your supervisor, internship coordinator and anyone else of significance, a handwritten “thank you” note for the incredible and important experience of learning hands-on within their company. You never know, after graduation they may see your card and give you a call for a job offer!
Tiffany is set to graduate with a Bachelors in Communications and Media Studies degree in 2021.
Describe your internship in a GIF.