Over the ten weeks I spent interning at Brunner, I found myself being both challenged and amazed. I’ve learned more about myself than I could have possibly imagined and met amazing people who have provided me with invaluable advice to further my career in the advertising industry. Among them are 12 tips and takeaways for those interning at an ad agency:

  1. The environment is fast-paced, and I mean run to your next meeting fast-paced. Get ready to get your steps in for the day.
  2. On my first day, someone great told me: “Be the sponge.” Hold on to this philosophy. Absorb as much as you can by saying ‘yes’, even if you think you won’t be interested. Learn about all of the departments and functions. You may be surprised as to what sparks your interest.
  3. It’s OK to make mistakes. You’re learning. As your internship becomes routine it’s easy to get caught up in the thought because this is where you spend a lot of time it must be your job. Remember you are there to learn, you are not there to be an expert in your field – so make the mistake and learn from it.
  4. Oh, my lingo. RFP? EOD? QSR? POV? UGC? OTT? Ping? Don’t stress over industry terms or office jargon. Just ask.
  5. Don’t be afraid to stress out. A little stress is good, but don’t sweat the small stuff. Enforce your own work-life balance and keep your employer up to date on your workload. When you know and respect your limits, it means you’re learning as much as possible as efficiently as possible.
  6. Get comfortable. Decorate your desk, joke with your co-workers, take notes in colored pencils, eat candy, limit yourself to three cups of coffee…per day, take a walk, absorb it all. You’re there for the next few months, but you’re only there for the next few months.
  7. There is always something to do. Get your hands on as many assignments as possible. Ask teammates if they need help with something or create your own list of to-do’s.
  8. Say hello to everyone. May it be building security or maintenance, colleagues from a different department, or people from a different floor, make connections with the people around you.
  9. Don’t self-doubt. Be confident and own your work. Make a decision and run with it, especially if you have a good reason. When all else fails and you’re stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  10. Save sorry for when you need it. Another great colleague taught me to only apologize when something actually necessitates it. Avoid apologizing for not knowing everything about every subject, soliciting feedback or popping by someone’s desk to ask a question.
  11. Put your ‘game face’ on. You’re an intern at a dream agency and you’re so excited about all the things you get to learn… but, you’re also human. The minute you step into that office put on your game face and get ready to work hard. You never know where it may lead you….
  12. Lastly, let the environment inspire you. You are surrounded by creatives, strategists, planners, and the like. Use the resources around you to learn about professional backgrounds and seek advice on how to get to where you want to be. Remember your dream is achievable.