My Intern-to-Full-Time Experience

I started at Saxum as a digital content intern during the fall semester of the second year into my Master’s program. After a semester as an intern, I was lucky enough to be asked back as a graduate fellow, and as I wrapped up my degree, I was offered a full-time position as a Digital Coordinator at Saxum. Even though I haven’t been here a full year yet, I have already learned so much—from picking my coworker’s brains for their wisdom to the hands-on experience I got as an intern. So here are the biggest takeaways I’ve found so far that will continue to shape my full-time experience:

Ask for feedback and don’t be afraid of it

Feedback is scary, especially when you’re new to a team or a client and you’re still finding your sea legs. That said, feedback is the best way to learn. It’s how you’ll find out what you’re doing right and what you’re doing that’s not exactly right. You’ll grow so much faster, the more open you are to feedback. This is your chance to push for your growth and your career. And even though feedback is scary, it doesn’t have to be terrifying. A good supervisor will work with you to find a way to give feedback that works for both of you. Feel confident to ask about trying different styles of feedback until you find the one that works best for you.

Ask your questions, even if they feel silly

When I first started as an intern, asking questions felt like owning up to the fact that I wasn’t perfect (Secret time: I’m not, no one is. And that’s okay). But the thing is, if you don’t ask questions, you’re going to waste time being confused instead of working and growing. So ask your questions, even the silly ones that seem straight forward. It’s okay to own up to the fact that you might not know everything. This is your chance to learn.

Be yourself and get involved

Entering a new internship can feel a lot like the first day at a new school. It’s nerve-wracking and exciting, and it can feel really difficult to find your place. But, once you start sharing your personality and getting involved, it becomes so much easier to relax and enjoy your workplace. So grab 15 minutes with people you don’t know and want to know better. Get to know the people you work with—it makes the work easier and better.

My time at Saxum has taught me a lot about the field and a lot about a good workplace environment. It’s been a safe space for me to grow (and continue to grow) into my career and my future. Starting your career can feel daunting, but Saxum has taught me to not only embrace the fear but dive into it. You’ll never know what amazing things could come out of it unless you try.

About the author

Anna Swafford is a Digital Coordinator at Saxum.