Every year I also find myself with a jam-packed summer schedule that includes way more office light than sunlight. 2014 was no different and I spent the last half of freedom from classwork at a local advertising agency building my portfolio and ad credentials.
In my time there I learned a lot about writing for SEO, digital branding, and marketing in general. I learned how to deal with, picky and angry clients, how to write about something I have zero prior knowledge of (hazardous waste is not exactly a popular topic) and I even sat in on planning sessions to watch an entire campaign play out.
Aside for all of the resume building and technical learning I did, I had a lot of fun too. And, being the baby that I am, really enjoyed the little tidbits of life advice everyone offered — some more useful than others. So for your reading pleasure, I have assembled the top five pieces of advice that I was given during my month and a half as an intern.
Lesson #1: You are a baby; you don’t know anything.
Age 20 is just the very beginning of the grand scale of life. Don’t believe me? Here‘s a fancy infographic!
Like any good story, you don’t find out the really awesome stuff until you get to the end so stop acting like a know-it-all because the reality is you don’t know the half of it.
Lesson #2: Learn to listen.
People like when you acknowledge them as a person and listen to their needs and wants, and not just to help you get to where you need to go.
It also goes back to the age thing. There’s value in listening to your elders; they know things you don’t simply because they’ve been around longer. So listen to your mom more, kids.
You can’t experience everything on your own, but other people can help you fill in the gaps.
Lesson #3: You’re going to piss people off.
Making people angry is inevitable. Accept it with beauty and grace.
Okay, so maybe they didn’t teach me the beauty and grace part, but still. I’m sure it’s something Coco Chanel would say and she was fab.
Whether you’re right and someone is angry about it or you’re wrong and someone is angry about it, sometimes you have to face the reality that not everyone is going to like everything you do.
Accept the hate. Sometimes that’s all it takes to please someone so you can both move on from the situation.
Lesson #4: Laugh it off.
You just used “your” instead of “you’re” and you’re a copywriter? Laugh.
You just fell out of your chair because a huge spider ran across your keyboard? Laugh.
Everyone in the office publicly judged you for your claim that Uggs are incredibly comfortable? Run away in shame — just kidding! Laugh, because then someone else will likely admit that they too owned a pair in college because they ARE really comfortable.
Even if you’re dying a little inside because you didn’t realize how dumb your suggestion for a tagline was until you opened your mouth — laugh. It takes the edge off.
Lesson #5: It’s O.K. to be wrong.
Some lessons require you to fall flat on your butt to fully understand. Life can be a cruel teacher like that sometimes. Stand up, dust yourself off and leave your pride behind. It’ll make for an easier future that doesn’t constantly feel like it’s weighing you down.
From the awful jokes and being blamed for the death of a plant, to gaining some much needed confidence in my ability to write, this summer has been one of the best of my life and this agency and the people there will always hold a special place in my heart.