Time Flies: Make it Count


One month. Has it already been one whole month? One month since I moved to a new city? One month since I first began my internship at a non-profit in downtown Portland? When they say, “time flies”, it really does. In the past month I’ve been thrown into projects and given responsibilities that have taught me more than I could have learned in a basic classroom.

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If I could sum up just three main lessons I’ve learned that have made my first 34 days at my internship count, they would be:

1. Do your research.

The research process should begin even before the initial interview. Knowing your facts about a company you may be working for not only increases your confidence but also impresses potential employers. But research doesn’t end there. Once hired it is important to know as much information about a company as possible prior to the first day. This was an essential step for me. Coming into a non-profit organization with no prior experience in the field was eye-opening. Researching the organization and similar organizations helped me feel prepared and comfortable in this new environment.

2. Be patient.

The first week at my internship was spent reading over documents and familiarizing myself with the company. I read page after page learning about all aspects and goals of the organization. It was tedious work, but in the end I saw that it was necessary. This patience is critical when starting any new internship or job.

3. Get comfortable.

As easy as it is to find comfort in your own personal bubble in an unfamiliar environment, don’t do it. Don’t be a hermit. Internships are about building relationships and establishing connections. In order to do this it’s vital to break down those walls. Invite a co-worker out for coffee, ask he or she if they have a project they’d like help working on or if they have helpful advice for a new employee. Stepping out of your comfort zone will be greatly beneficial in the long run and make your time at a company worthwhile.

-Cheyenne Knowles

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About Cheyenne Knowles

I am a recent graduate from the University of Oregon. I received my degree in Public Relations with a minor in Communications. My experiences working as a social media intern for the popular company Twistband and a public relations team member for Ethos magazine have ensured me that my passion lies public relations. I was most recently a Communications intern for the non-profit, The Children's Institute, in Portland, Ore. There, I boosted traffic and followers on social media accounts through strategic posts and audience research. In the future, I hope to work in media relations within either the sports and entertainment sector. I am eager to soon begin my professional journey and experience a multitude of exciting, new opportunities.
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5 Responses to Time Flies: Make it Count

  1. Adaira Floyd says:

    Great post, Cheyenne! Time is sure flying by fast. Fall term will be over before we know it…
    It takes bravery to jump into a new industry or work environment (ex: non-profit) and get comfortable, so kudos! It sounds like researching and building connections has made a big impact on your experience so far.

  2. Hannah Olson says:

    I agree that it’s easy to get comfortable in a new position and forget to push yourself outside your comfort zone. One thing I’ve taken advantage of is trying to meet people in communal areas like the kitchen or copy room… maybe it’s silly but I feel too awkward walking up to someone’s desk and introducing myself out of the blue.

    It’s crazy that by the end of this month we’ll already be at the “midterm” review – time really does fly!

  3. I agree with all three of your points, Cheyenne, but especially that we need to do our research. The public relations firm I am interning at is currently in the process of hiring a junior account executive, and they have turned people away who obviously knew nothing about the firm. Research is key to demonstrating how much you care about the job you are interviewing for! I also liked your point that research can make us more confident; having prior knowledge of a company gives you talking points and makes you feel prepared and ready to impress.

  4. hmartin3 says:

    I completely agree, Cheyenne! It would be so easy to just show up at our internships everyday and get our to-do list done and go home. But if that’s all we wanted out of this experience, I’m sure we wouldn’t have gone through all the trouble to get here. For me, I try to talk to at least one person a day that I wouldn’t normally associate with. The other day, I wanted to introduce myself to one of the editors at my internship and I almost backed out because I felt nervous/awkward just walking in her office. But I made myself do it, and I’m glad I did. It took 30 seconds and I got to write another article for my portfolio because of that simple gesture. Patience is also a good point, I’ve heard from multiple people that it’s best to lay low and observe and take everything in so you can get a feel for the culture of your new job.

  5. pdxsx says:

    Wow! Wonderful post, Cheyenne! You really had some fantastic advice there. So proud of your hard work with a very demanding internship opportunity!
    ~J

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