Up-and-Coming Professionals Experience the True Value of an Internship
Written by Tatum Sims, Ezekiel Fitch, and Eric Powell, DecisionLink Summer 2021 Interns
This summer, DecisionLink had the opportunity to gain interns for their company and allow students to showcase their talents and grow within the SaaS industry. Having an internship during your time in college can be extremely beneficial. It helps with growth, experience, and professional development. Life as an intern can be exciting, overwhelming, and motivating. Working in an office setting as an intern is quite big of a transition coming from college. There are different expectations for everything while being a part of an internship program. Adjusting to office life is something that has pros and cons. Pro: having that hands-on experience in an actual office environment. It’s good to be hands-on and face-to-face, especially after remote work, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is trending upward more and more these days as the “preferred” way to work by many professionals across many different industries. Even with that, being able to have face-to-face contact with your colleagues is always a plus. You can’t beat that experience and the connection and the knowledge learned from one another. Another pro: being able to observe how people work and operate in an in-person office environment. You get to experience the vibe when a big campaign is being launched, when a big win is happening, when a big deal has been achieved, and also, to be fair when something not-so-good occurs as well. There’s something to be learned from experiencing all of those different ebb and flow.
Here at DecisionLink, the office environment is not like an intern would expect a corporate office environment to be like. After three months of interning here, we now know why – the start-up-tech-SaaS life isn’t like the typical “corporate culture” that we’re still learning about heavily in college. Employees here welcomed interns with open arms, continuously catered to having an open-door policy, and were open to always helping when needed. One of the best things about being in the office is having the ability to communicate with leadership at any point. While DecisionLink is a startup company, the leadership team is always looking for different ways to help. Having a CEO of a company talk to an intern one-on-one is a significant benefit that most interns do not get to experience. Having the ability to have that level of communication made us interns feel comfortable. There is a great sense of community and family in the office environment. Even for the employees who are remote, in Atlanta, in Buffalo, in Florida, in Dallas, and in Salt Lake City still are a part of the company family, and it’s expressed and shown by leadership and the entire employee team constantly. Having to experience the dynamics of work in a startup company really was amazing, seeing how things are still starting up for the company, seeing it grow, and achieving goals along the way.
Networking is something that is key when being in the professional world but is super important while being an intern. The more people and relationships you form with others, the more knowledge you’ll obtain. Being able to network can be challenging if you’re not used to speaking to others or starting conversations. The power of networking is an amazing thing because you never know who you’ll end up talking to or the places you’ll go. Being a new intern is like being the new kid in class. You’re not there alone – you just have to reach out to others and network and create trusting bonds that are lasting and worthwhile.
Obtaining an internship that is in the focus field that you’re looking to spread your wings in and let your talents shine within as a college student/new generation of professionals is an accomplishment because it can set you up for a better future. The experience and growth that is taken away from an internship will last a lifetime. At the beginning of an internship, there’s always a sense of feeling overwhelmed, being overwhelmed with the transition, workload, and how to manage emotional maturity. After the internship, however, interns can leave the company with a ton of knowledge they didn’t have before- the knowledge you learn will take you far and last forever. The experience as an intern is a one-of-a-kind experience that will give young professionals the ability to push their careers to the next level. Internships are for growth, challenges, and exploration. They’re like trial and error, but there will always be takeaways from being in an internship program whether they’re good or bad. The internship here at DecisionLink is unmatched. The entire team cares about the young professionals and wants to see us succeed at all costs. Even beyond a work level, we’ve learned things about ourselves and beyond. The whole point of an internship is to have the experience that you will take on with you during the duration of your professional career and college career. You will gain a lot of knowledge from everyone in the workplace, especially as an intern, if you truly take advantage of the opportunities and relationships to be built.