Hi, my name is Callum and I am currently enrolled on the Bachelor of Business in Business Administration program at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). During the third year of this program there is a six month industry placement. If I’m being honest, I had a certain level of trepidation going into my new position as marketing intern with fourTheorem Ltd.
Like many others, the thought of starting an internship was somewhat daunting and frightening. One of the reasons for this was a major dose of impostor syndrome! At some point each student realizes they didn’t fully absorb the information delivered during all of their lectures, especially if that was the class during which they chose to take a nap! Having these feelings of inadequacy when we enter the workplace is completely normal, and I’m happy to report that reality does not live up to the fear. Maybe I was lucky getting accepted as an intern with fourTheorem, but my placement here has taught me that I have only covered the tip of the iceberg in terms of what I can learn and achieve.
As a relatively young technology startup founded by experienced professionals, every day at fourTheorem has been packed with learning opportunities. From the outset, the more I tackled and challenged myself the more my fears dissipated. Thus far, my time spent with fourTheorem has been a phenomenal experience. This isn’t your average, routine, and boring paper-pushing role, and I have been involved with a true variety of work, from managing social media content, through working on the company conference schedule, to writing and managing blog posts. In the process, I’ve also learnt how to edit files using a Unix tool called VI, as well as using GitHub.com for managing the source code of our web content. In addition to the functional tasks, I have amazing colleagues who create a friendly atmosphere where everyone is willing to help each other out with a smile. The CEO, Peter Elger, has a unique and engaging way of leading the team by empowering each employee with a sense of ownership of the company. Yes, even the newbie intern! As a result of this sense of ownership I strive to work at 110% of my abilities, and have surprised myself with what I have accomplished and achieved in the short time I’ve been in the position.
If I could give my former self any advice about starting an internship, apart from not worrying about making the leap, it would be around problem solving. If you have a problem that you can’t solve on your own, Google Search is your friend. The chances are extremely high that someone else has had the same problem and has posted it on YouTube, Stack Overflow, Wikipedia, etc. It is also important to remember that internships offer real-life work experience in your prospective career field and are something to be embraced rather than feared. I have found that the best way to approach an internship is not as a mandatory requirement that needs to be endured, but as a stepping-stone that can lead to future opportunities.
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