Six internships, numerous student leadership positions and hours of time spent in class all led to my first full-time job at Off Madison Ave. After just one month with the agency, I’ve had dozens of friends, colleagues and family members ask, “So, what’s it like being in the real world now?”
The truth is, it’s a lot more responsibility, but the experience is also much more rewarding. Holding down an internship, full class load and school activities was a lot of work, but, college was more of a trial and error time that didn’t impose as much liability.
My past internships gave me valuable experience that have helped me immensely in my new job. However, the biggest difference between an internship and a full-time position is the amount of responsibility that rests on your back.
Here are three lessons I’ve learned so far in that nine-to-five grind:
There’s Always So Much More to Learn
This may sound cliché, but I feel like the best way to excel in the transition from intern to full-time employee is to keep on learning. One of my favorite parts about working at OMA is the commitment to continuous education through Toastmasters, conferences, industry webinars and more.
I realized that although my skills grew so much from internships and college, there is still so much more knowledge out there. This industry is always changing and what you learned a year ago or last week can always use some refreshing.
Over communicating is important throughout your career, but especially when you’re starting out and your colleagues and boss may not know your work style yet.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or just aren’t sure about something, it’s encouraged at OMA to speak up. This doesn’t mean texting, calling and emailing. It means making yourself clear and being consistent to where there are no surprises or confusion.
Asking questions isn’t only normal, but necessary when taking on a new job and clients.
We’re a Team
The classic High School Musical ballad, “We’re All in This Together,” rings true at OMA. In some past internships, it seemed like colleagues and departments weren’t always on the same page.
I have been amazed by the team at OMA and how it truly takes everyone at the agency to make our work successful. From brainstorming sessions to constant collaboration between departments, I have learned so much about what it means to work together.
To answer the question about what the “real-world” is like, I definitely would say that I have more responsibility than ever. However, I also have more opportunities to learn, grow and show what I’m made of.
To make the transition from intern to full-time employee, you must keep learning, ask plenty of questions and as Zac Efron said, “Get’cha Head in the Game.”