Internship Lessons from Dr. Seuss

by Katey Kimpel on July 6, 2012

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The first month at Affect has flown by!  There hasn’t been a day that I don’t have numerous “pinch me I must be dreaming” moments.   The thrill of being chosen as the winner of “The New York Internship Project” has not gone away, and honestly, I don’t think it ever will.

Since this is my first post for the Affect blog, I thought it would only be fitting to make it a Dr. Seuss theme, considering it was the theme I used for my NYIP entry.

A few years ago, one of my college professors read us a Sources of Insight article called “Lessons Learned from Dr. Seuss,” by J.D Meier. The author shared 21 lessons he learned from Dr. Seuss books, polarizing for me the fact that those tales I read as a kid would forever guide me on my personal and professional path. Here are four of the lessons from the article and how they have been applicable to my experiences so far as an Affect intern.

First, be your best you, because in the words of Dr. Seuss, “There is no one alive who is more Youer than You.”  I found that as an intern, I couldn’t be afraid to be my true self.  I am normally not a shy person, but I found that towards the beginning of my internship I was a bit reserved.  It makes sense because I was not only just transitioning into a new internship, but into a big city as well.  Then it dawned on me that it was a ridiculous feeling and I needed to be the girl Affect saw in my entry video.  My advice to other interns looking to “wow” the people you are interning for; you must be your true self.  I know that it may take some time but trust me it, being a different version of yourself will get you nowhere.

Second, kindle your curiosity, because following curiosity allows you to grow both personally and professionally.  This internship has already taught me so much.  I constantly ask my manager what she’s doing for her clients, because I want to gain some insight as to what it’s like being an account executive at a PR agency.  I’ve also asked the previous interns, who now work here, what their processes were in certain projects in order to learn different tactics.   I believe the phrase; “there is no such thing as a bad question,” is especially applicable for interns.  If you are curious as to what your manager or co-worker is doing, just ask because chances are you will learn something new.  As Dr. Seuss said, “The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Third, persistence pays off, and you have to be relentless in anything you pursue.  Whenever I’m handed an assignment I give it 110% of my effort.  However, I have done some tasks incorrectly, but I’ve learned to never let it bring me down.  I am very resilient, and if I do something wrong I’ll learn what went awry in order to correct it for the future.   Learning and growing are two fundamental aspects of an internship.  I recommend that no intern should be scared of making a mistake in an assignment because, honestly, it will inevitably happen.  Instead of being distraught over the incident, let it drive you to do it better the next time.  As Dr. Seuss artfully told young readers, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.”

Fourth, and most importantly, your voice counts.  As an intern at Affect, I truly feel that my opinion matters.  I am never afraid to share my ideas, which is one of the many things that I love about interning here.  I feel that I truly am valued, and they are excited to have me on board.  In Horton Hears a Who, Dr. Seuss shows us how one little voice can tip the scale, because after all, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

My final point aptly comes from “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” Dr. Seuss talks about the waiting place, which is the most useless place to be.  I’ve heard that some interns fall into this limbo space by waiting for their supervisor to reach out for assignments.  However, I don’t think internships should be based on waiting, considering the PR industry certainly does not work that way.  I know that it is up to me to make the most of this internship and achieve my ideal experience.  I encourage all current and aspiring interns to take advantage of every opportunity to learn.  As Dr. Seuss would say, “And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!”

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