The common stereotype an internship is one from the movies of a young student rushing to work with a tray of coffees in one hand and the boss’s dry cleaning in the other. While there are certainly negative internships out there, my personal experience interning at Isentia has been a valuable opportunity to learn and develop.
During my internship at Isentia I have been exposed to client interactions, assisted in the production of external-facing work, and developed my research capabilities. However, I believe that the most valuable lesson for an intern is to develop their confidence and sense of value as a young professional.
Professional discourse often describes the working journey as a ladder, indicating a strict hierarchy with a singular direction. I’ve found that unlike the ladder model, the culture at Isentia is one that allows for a valuable overlap of experience and open communication, with senior and junior members providing insights and ideas in collaborative discussions. This is an ideal environment for an intern in being able to ask for guidance and develop the confidence to provide input.
I believe the greatest challenge for an intern is to find the balance of following instruction and delivering what is expected, while also taking a critical and independent approach to add value and improve the outcome. It may take years for me to develop this confidence, however, during my short time at Isentia I’ve strived to be solutions-oriented when undertaking tasks and provide valuable support to the team.
It should be said that internships are an opportunity that many cannot afford, creating a gap of experience between those who have the privilege and time to undertake an internship, and those who do not. If you decide to hire an intern you should keep it in mind that many are interning on top of work and their studies with the aim of learning, advancing their experience and gaining exposure to the industry. When an intern is supported and given challenging work they can grow and harvest profits for your team and organisation.
The Isentia team members are diverse in background, and bring different skills and unique perspectives to the table to form an interesting and collaborative culture. I’ve found the team, as well as the wider office, hugely welcoming and supportive of my learning journey, taking the time to answer my questions and explain tasks. Thanks to them, my experience at Isentia has largely been a positive one.
Intern from University of Technology Sydney