In the spring of this year, I knew two things for sure: that I was a Communication Studies major and that I really did not have an answer to “so what do you want to do with that?” when my advisors, parents, and even peers were (what seemed like constantly) asking me that. As summer loomed closer and closer, everyone was applying for internships – myself included. I knew the days of babysitting all summer and spending copious amounts of time at the beach were over and I needed to start preparing for my future. I wasn’t quite ready to give up those beach days yet, so I decided to apply for an internship at BG Digital Group located in Morehead City. The purpose of this post is about taking risks so I am going to break down in three parts what risks I took – and how they can pay off.
- Just Do It
After applying through countless websites and postings directly seeking interns and exhausting all my “connections” (parents friends), I took matters into my own hands. I Google searched “communications” and “Morehead City” and BG was the first result. I had heard of this place and after a few minutes of perusing their website I thought, “I could (maybe) do this.” Oh wait, there were no posts suggesting they were looking for interns – I did not even know if they took interns. What did I do anyway? Typed up a quick, little email to their “say hello” contact form on their website with my resume and cover letter attached. The next week I had my interview.
Moral of the story: This might not always work out, but they might. Companies really do not know who you are and if they are not interested so what? They will move on and so will you. But, it might work out – like it did in my case – so I highly recommend trying!
- Fake it until you make it
Once I got to BG Digital Group, I did not necessarily know what was going to be expected of me and what my duties would include. Some assignments I knew how to do (writing press releases, organizing information in an excel sheet, etc), but other stuff? HECK NO. Do you think I know one thing about writing a blog about wedding cakes? At the time I hadn’t been to a wedding in about 15 years. I wrote the blog always and people really liked it.
Moral of the story: Try! Be transparent with your supervisors, literally say, “I do not know if this is what you are asking for – or if its good – but this is what I have come up with and let me know what I need to do to change it or make it better.” In my personal opinion, effort goes a long way and asking for help is NEVER a bad thing.
- Keep on Keeping On
This is a reminder to myself and to others because it is easy to get discouraged. I am in the throes of the job hunt right now and it is definitely challenging. But one technique I use (that your school’s career center probably wont tell you), is remembering and reflecting on what I have already done. I think, “remember how you sent that two sentence email and it resulted in the internship of your dreams – DO IT AGAIN, Mackenzie!”
Moral of the story: Take risks and keep taking risks. Sometimes they will work and sometimes they wont, but I think it is better to put yourself out there than wonder what could have been.
Sometimes you take risks professionally – like reaching out to an organization. Other times you take risks in your personal life – like wearing an overall dress and not sure of what reaction it would garnish. While I talked about the benefits of risk-taking, there are obviously downsides, but I think nine times out of ten you will be glad you tried. Share a time you tried with me on social media or in the comments below!