Pictured Above (Left to Right):
Nick Statsick, John Statsick, Alex Coon, Awah Ndingwan, Jordan Wolfer, Doug Glassman.
Cole Burek, Stevie Lacher, Tyler Myrvold
One of the things I hear all the time from interns is, “Ashley, you’re so smart and wise. Please, bestow on us some of your sage wisdom.” Okay, none of our nine IWCO Direct summer interns have said that, but they should, because three years ago, I was an IWCO Direct summer intern, bright-eyed and bushy tailed with no idea what to expect.
This internship opportunity, regardless of the position or department, is very different than others because IWCO Direct takes mentoring very seriously. While interns might come to us with a set of learning goals and objectives, we have a list of our own. IWCO Direct aims to provide all of our interns with the following:
- An opportunity to learn more about the direct mail industry
- Work experience in the field that they will ultimately go into once they graduate
- A preview of what it’s like to work full-time, to help them gain an understanding of work/life balance, corporate structure, etc.
- A mentor/mentee relationship that will hopefully continue even after the internship ends
To accomplish these goals, a lot is asked of our interns. Since I’m sure most of them are shy, I’ll spare them the anxiety of asking me for advice. Here are a few tips for the IWCO Direct summer interns from someone who has been around the block on how to get the most out of your opportunity.
Never attend a meeting without a notebook and pen. When I interned here, I expected to be doing coffee runs and shredding documents. Instead, I attended meetings and gained first-hand experience working on projects that mattered to clients and the company.
The amount of work and number of campaigns that go through here can be overwhelming. Keep yourself organized and detail-minded by taking lots of notes so every project has the chance to be successful.
Go the extra mile
Subscribe to industry newsletters and blogs, including SpeakingDIRECT, so you can have the necessary knowledge to understand the business environment. It’s all about getting the lay of the land so you can spend your time in the office learning the intricacies of your field instead of trying to figure out what people are talking about when they mention ROMI.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
If you don’t know what ROMI means, ask. Everyone here is very knowledgeable and friendly. The only way you can contribute meaningful ideas is if you understand the fundamentals; and we want you to contribute.
Give your opinion
One of the great things about working at a company with an innovative culture is that all ideas are welcome. You may provide the fresh viewpoint needed to improve a process or offer a great new idea. Your inexperience isn’t looked down upon, it’s utilized. And even if your idea doesn’t work due to pre-existing conditions or industry limitations, it will still provide a great learning experience.
On my first day as an intern, the office broke out into Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time.” IWCO Direct is a fun place to work. The people here have a sense of humor and you’re more than welcome to join in. Just remember the difference between fun and goofing off.
Congratulations to the nine IWCO Direct summer interns who are forgoing lounging in the sun for some direct marketing fun. I look forward to meeting you all and seeing what you bring to the table.
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