Full of Questions

I anxiously started my first day at a fairly large nonprofit filled with questions. Many questions I had formed after being asked by pretty much every person who I spoke to about my internship about what exactly I would be doing on a daily basis.

Many questions stuck around as my first day on the job progressed. After being introduced to my cubicle and several other employees who work on my end of the office (two of which are former ducks), I had my picture taken for my fancy new security pass. This, like it has for many of my other fellow PDXSXers, made me feel incredibly official.

During the first few hours after my tours and two meetings about projects I had zero familiarity with despite prior research, I began to fully appreciate and embrace what my supervisor had mentioned several times so far. This was that I should never hesitate to ask questions and lots of them. Ask about objectives. Ask for feedback. Ask about getting involved with new projects.

Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much – Francis Bacon

I believe this will be one of my keys to succeeding at this internship. I started out sorting press clippings, but by the end of the week I was exploring Vocus and writing press releases. However, the job of sorting the press-clippings is never-ending.

Having interned at completely different types of organizations before this nonprofit, I was excited to work in new areas of public relations and be exposed firsthand to different perspectives. I had a lot of questions and finding a balance between asking them all and other at times taking the initiative to take things on without being told will be my plan to be an effective intern this spring.

Melany Boulton


About maboulton2012

My name is Melany Boulton and I'm a junior public relations student at the University of Oregon looking forward to graduating next spring in 2012. I am an enthusiastic person and very excited about the path I am currently on working towards a career in PR. I just have to figure out what I want to pursue in this incredibly diverse and unique industry.
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5 Responses to Full of Questions

  1. Alysha Beck says:

    I like your approach of not being afraid to ask lots of questions at your internship. I know that I always feel like I have a ton of questions when I start a new internship or job, and I have found that it is always good to clarify and ask for help if I don’t understand something. Sometimes I feel like I
    don’t want to be the annoying intern who can’t figure out anything on her own, but if I have given it some time and I still have questions, I make sure to ask them. Like you say at the end of your post, it is important to find a balance between figuring out something on your own and asking for someone’s help.

  2. Allyson Will says:

    I am glad that someone else is asking a lot of questions as well! I feel as if all that ever comes out of my mouth at my internship is another new question about something I do not understand. One thing that I have found is often when I ask a question and my supervisor doesn’t know it ends up being a learning experience for both of us. My supervisor always says she appreciates the questions, but it is hard not to feel like you are a toddler in their “why?” stage. Congrats on your internship!

  3. pdxsx says:

    Good work, Melany! Keep up the good work and ask lots and lots of questions! You’ll be awesome!


  4. codynewton says:

    I can completely relate to this Melany. I had SO many questions when I began. I also had a lot of people asking me what I was going to be doing. Good question I thought. I totally agree that it’s good to be willing to ask a lot of questions. I was given so much information the first day, I went from knowing nothing to knowing almost too much. At that point I didn’t feel like I was much better off, so I began asking questions. Now, a week later, I feel much more at home. A feeling that I don’t think I would have felt had I been afraid to ask questions.

    We’re all here to learn, and in order to do that we can’t be afraid to admit we might not know exactly what we’re doing.

    Good luck Melany!


  5. asharonson says:

    Great post!

    I agree. Questions are key, ask a lot of them, and understand your projects. You may feel like an idiot but it avoids mistakes that may end up resulting in a lot of back tracking. As interns, our supervisors expect us to ask a lot of questions. We just need to stay confident and remember that we are all still learning.

    Good luck at your internship!

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