Tuesday, June 21, 2011

#Interntips from @GabbiSMC

The idea behind an internship is to learn in a real-world setting. (Not be confused with the set of the tv show, the Real World.) At least, that's what I have been told. While I have learned a lot about running online ad campaigns and the financial industry, I have learned many unexpected things. Here is what I have learned after a month in Los Angeles.

1) The Art of Small Talk
I've never been much good at small talk. Not because I'm shy. I mean HELLOOOOO, my name is GABBI. My problem has always been than small talk always seems to come to an abrupt stop. For example, I used to ask 'What did you do over the weekend?' If there person said, 'Oh, just hung out,' the conversation seemed to fall away. In recent weeks, I have found that the key is to find the person's soft spot. No, not the most jiggly part of their body. That would be awkward. I mean the topic that just makes them 'spill the beans.' I have found that a large chunk of the time, people like to talk about family. They know their family. They can love them, and complain about them, and generally, they can talk about them for days. Everyone can relate to something within the family whether it be overbearing parents, sibling rivalry, or even sons/daughters/nieces/nephews. It doesn't matter the age difference, most people have experiences with family. If that fails, talk about the weather or the state of the roads.

2) The Best Way to Start an Email
I have to thank my boss this one. (Shout out, Biz) In a meeting, he said "It's always best to start an email with 'Hope you had a great weekend'" or a similar greeting. It starts the email off on a good note and the reader is more likely to have a positive (or less agitated) response. I find myself much more conscience of this especially when I'm emailing some to request photos, information, or an answer to a question. People want to help people that care about them. Plus, it is always best to appear happy even if you are super stressed. No need to be grumpy. The work day always comes to an end and there is always the weekend to look forward to. (Yup, I'm really THAT deep.)

(Taken from Google)
3) Some of Your Textbooks DO Come in Handy.
Hard to believe, I know. However, the AP Stylebook and The Little Brown Essential Handbook sit faithfully next to my computer. I don't use them everyday, but they are great references when I am writing out ads.They can help when I'm having writer's block simply by changing the way I am writing a sentence. In retrospect, I wish I still had my design principles book from New Media. That would have been really useful. I mean I know most of the principles because of having them drilled into my brain, (Shout out to Professor Sultze!) but I wouldn't mind having it around to reference. I also wish I had brought my notes with me. I keep all my notes because you never know when the information from Mass Communications will be useful in a future JO class. I would really like to have my New Media notes, but alas they are in a storage locker in Vermont.

4) Don't Be Afraid to Self-Teach
My internship isn't stereotypical, mostly because I am doing marketing, but I'm not with a marketing firm or team. I have superiors who know what they want, but they also learn a few things from me.Some of my projects I rely on Google searches, discussion boards, and of course, Twitter. They have been great and I feel great when I have maneuvered through an unknown area all by myself. For a lot of my projects, I find inspiration from materials that the company has already created, but some of the inspiration comes from my own research of other company strategies. I've become big on reading my news via LinkedIn in the morning. I get all the news related to the fields I am interested its great. (#interntip within a tip: Get a LinkedIn account. You can connect with your co-workers there instead of Facebook. Plus, it is a great networking tool for when you apply for full-time positions.)

Have questions? Please comment :) Or shoot me a questions at www.formspring.me/gabbismc!


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