Intern’s Take: How to BAMf up your Internship

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The following is a post by our current Fall intern, Nathalie Retana.

Internships: they are important to any college student looking to break into the professional field and especially for those aiming to land a job right after graduation. You learn a lot at internships, from the basic skills of your field (for me, that was writing pitches and building media lists) to work environment etiquette (what to wear and the appropriate way to email/converse with coworkers and managers). And most importantly, internships are an opportunity for you to figure out exactly what you want to do career-wise. All of which is exactly why, if you don’t make the most of the time given to you, your time interning will be wasted and sadly, so will that of the company who’s decided to give you this chance (say buh-bye to LinkedIn connections!).

What interning at BAM has taught me is not only to work your hardest, but also to BAMf up every minute spent in the office. What does BAMf even mean, you say? Well, from what I’ve been taught and what I see every day in my co-workers, BAMf means the literal (Bad Ass Mo-Fo) as well as the figurative: a person who is fearless, unafraid to step up and stand out, go above and beyond to reach client as well as personal goals, and one who elevates the team to work harder and be better- no matter the circumstances.

Now, this BAMf mentality can be taken everywhere you go–and as I’ve noticed since my first day interning here, I’ve been bitten by the BAMf bug. So here are a few takeaways from one fellow intern to another on how to BAMf up your current internship and get the most out of it:

  1. Stay positive – Positivity is infectious. Always approach every task with enthusiasm.  It not only shows that you’re grateful to be there, but radiates great vibes to those around you. If you approach even the hardest tasks with a “can-do” attitude, it’s amazing how much easier and more workable that situation becomes.
  2. Ask questions – No question is stupid. It’s okay to ask questions! Don’t be afraid to clarify with your manager and teammates about any tasks you’re unsure of. Everyone already knows that you’re here to learn, so they will be impressed that you’re making sure you’re doing whatever you’ve been asked to do the right way.  I always say it’s better to ask questions and do it right the first time than to waste time struggling to figure it out and complete it incorrectly.
  3. Focus and pay attention – Stop Tweeting and Instagraming what you ate for lunch! I know- this might be a tough one, especially for those millennials. YOU CAN DO IT.  I know that our phones are constantly buzzing with distractions from the outside world, but when you’re in the office, you are on their time. Focus on your work and pay attention to what your co-workers do–you will learn a lot from them!
  4. Ask for feedback – Feedback is not criticism. You are here to learn and the best way to learn is to see where there’s room for you to improve. Ask your co-workers and managers, “How did I do?” whether it’s on a task, an email, or a verbal report. It’s good for you to listen to what you did fantastically and what you need to work on. And remember to take feedback as pointers, not criticism.
  5. Step up –  Be the “yes” person. Get out of your comfort zone and take on those tasks that you feel unconformable with. Be the person who if something needs to get done, steps up, is reliable, and pulls through. This also goes for any company social gatherings–attend them! It’s great to bond and build trust with your coworkers out of the office, so always be down for a company lunch or retreat.
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