I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I’ve been an intern at greenlight for just over 2 weeks now. Basically, I’m a pro. Follow my lead and you’ll be featured in Ad Age magazine in no time.
Ok, ok, maybe I’m not quite there yet, but I can say that my first 2 weeks with greenlight have taught me a lot. I’m still getting the hang of things, but for any future interns, here’s some advice for your first 2 weeks at greenlight:
1. Talk to people.
Yes, you are going to be a bit intimidated for your first few days. This is the perfect time to talk to people and get to know everyone! If you can’t find something to say, at the very least, speak up with more than a one-word answer when people try to make conversation with you. There isn’t a soul at greenlight that isn’t welcoming. This isn’t a corporate high-rise where no one knows your name. This is greenlight. And you are now a part of the family. Open your dang mouth and get to know everyone, because I know for a fact that they want to get to know you.
2. If you have a dog, put up his picture.
Consider this an extension of #1. It is a proven fact that greenlight people are dog people. Want a super easy way to start a conversation with someone? Put up a picture of your dog. Don’t have a dog? Get one. How do you not have a dog?
3. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
I say this as if making a mistake is something you can 100% control. But alas, mistakes are, at their core, unpredictable. Now, clearly you can avoid them to the best of your ability. However, you WILL make a mistake and you WILL sit at your desk sweating for 10 minutes wondering how you are going to explain it without getting fired. Refer to #1, in case you forgot, but everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who works here is nice as hell and as a result, also understanding. Whatever you just accidentally deleted is most likely not gone forever. Get up and tell someone what happened so it can get fixed!
4. This isn’t The White House. Have fun getting dressed for greenlight!
It is drilled into every college student’s head that there is some form of Chinese water torture reserved for interns who don’t wear pantsuits to the office everyday. Well, greenlight is a creative agency for creative people. Put away the pantsuit. Obviously you shouldn’t come to work in basketball shorts and flips-flops. Or in the dress you wore out for your roommate’s 21st birthday. But know that you can express yourself with your wardrobe here. Spend your morning thinking about how awesome your time here is going to be, not about the gray color of your pants not matching the gray color of your suit jacket.
5. It’s ok to not know something.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT say you know something when you don’t. This is one way to avoid the mistakes mentioned in #3. It’s time to put away the ego and let someone know that you don’t know how a certain program works. You are an intern. No one expects you to know the ins and outs of absolutely everything. That’s why you’re here in the first place. To learn. So learn!
6. Always say yes!
Every time someone asks you to sit in on a meeting, come along for a trip to the printer, or just join her for lunch is a learning opportunity. Even if you feel like you’re a little busy, odds are, you aren’t as busy as you think. With the exception of having a project that needs to be done ASAP, always say yes to any opportunity to see an aspect of someone’s workday.
7. Make sure you plug your headphones into the right jack before turning your music on. I say this because as I went to start writing this post, "Mo' Money Mo' Problems" started playing out of my computer.
8. Be proud of your work.
It is so easy when you’re an intern to truly believe that no matter what work you do, someone else who has worked there longer could have done it better. While this may sometimes be true, it is not a universal rule. You have mad skills and that is why you were hired. Odds are, if you put your best work out there, people are going to think it’s awesome!
9. On that note, remain humble.
It is very easy to get a big head the first time your boss gives you a rave review. While it is very rewarding to receive praise for good work, it is important to remember that good work is a result of hard work. There are going to be times when your team is less than thrilled with a project you’ve worked on. And that’s ok. Dust yourself off and do better next time.
10. Just because there’s a Keurig at work, don’t drink coffee all day. Your first Saturday off without an IV of caffeine in your arm will be filled with headaches.