As part of my university course, I am obliged to take an internship after my second year. This gives us a great opportunity to gain some work experience during our course and put what we’ve learnt into practice. I’ve landed on my feet and been hired as a digital distribution intern for a well-known global entertainment company, where I’ve been working for the past six months. This article is to help those who are also find themselves in a similar position over the next few years and want to know what an average day in the life of an intern is before applying.
Please note that everyone’s experience will be different, but from the other interns I’ve spoken to within the same organisation, there are still many similarities to our day, and no, it doesn’t include making coffee for your boss TV would have you believe!
7:30am – Wake up
This wake up time is a lot earlier than many university students are used to and it actually took me a while to get used to. Our office hours are from 10am-6pm so I could have woken up later, but I choose to start my day off relaxed and not have to rush out of the house.
8:30am – Begin my commute
Working in central London, I take the daily well trodden path of a walk to the bus stop, a 15 minute bus ride, and then 30-40 minute train ride into work. This is a common journey time, if you live in Zone 2 and work in central, so it is normal to allot around 1 hour for the commute.
9:30am – Arrive at the office early and get ready
I’m all about punctuality and want to make a good impression, and keep good habits, so I always get to the office at least 15-30 minutes before the day starts. It gives me a good time to settle in and check the news.
10:00am – A brief daily department meeting
Here we discuss upcoming plans and any issues that occurred the day before. This is a good chance to ask questions in an open environment. There are no such thing as stupid questions, and it is made clear from the beginning that it’s better to ask than to waste time trying to figure it out. The way meetings are scheduled has changed in the short time I’ve been working here. Instead of booking through the receptionist, we are now using dedicated software accessible on our PC’s and phones, with the meeting details then appearing on a conference room scheduling display outside the room. A game changer!
10:10am – Work on assigned projects
My job requires me to ensure all the data being
uploaded is correct, i.e. in the correct format and language, and so this is
what I spend the majority of my time on. This also includes liaising with other
departments in other regions, so often the bulk of my work may not begin until
the afternoon when the US office opens.
12:30pm – Lunch break
We get a one hour lunch break which is more than long enough to be honest, but seeing as we don’t have a canteen we either get lunch from the plethora of restaurants in the local area, or bring in our own and heat it up in the pantry. It’s taken me a good few months to realise I am better off financially by bringing in my own food, as eating out can get very expensive!
1:30pm – Back to work
Work after lunch usually consists of liaising with other departments in our local office, especially marketing. They are often running different marketing campaigns and we therefore need to make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of messages and designs.
3:30pm – New York Office starts their day
Being an international company, we have to juggle working across different regions and therefore different time zones. Oceania is the first to start, then Europe, then finally the US. With the international headquarters being based in New York, once their day starts it pretty much means we get a lot more work heading our way too.
The last two hours of my workday are the most hectic, but this is also the time that goes the quickest. Emails come through thick and fast and there is often a video conference between our digital department and theirs, a few times a week.
6:00pm – End of our work day
Being an intern often means that we aren’t included in as much of the work as a permanent employee would be, however, working in such a small office I was lucky enough to be. Even luckier for me was that I didn’t have to bring home any work, and when the clock strikes six, that would be the end of my day.
So here we have a brief timeline of my average day as an intern. Workloads can fluctuate and one thing I have noticed after talking to other interns in bigger companies is that your workload and involvement seems to negatively correlate to this. The bigger the company, the less work and influence you have and vice versa, so think carefully when deciding where you would like to spend your year.