Smriti Dahiya, who interned as a proofreader shares her experience and the lessons she learned.
Photograph*: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
Done with my semester exams, I welcomed the two month summer vacation.
In the beginning, I didn’t have any real plans and was simply enjoying the free time watching my favourite TV series.
One day, while browsing through internet, I came across an internship platform.
I registered on it, prepared my resume, and started applying.
I was majorly applying to content writing internships. That's how I came across a proofreading internship with a start-up. The job description appealed me and I applied for it.
An assignment and two interviews later, I was hired for the internship and joined immediately.
It was my first professional experience. I was fascinated by everything, right from the office space, furniture, and laptops to every single person working there.
I was given a warm welcome and introduced to each team member before I was given work responsibilities which was basically, proofreading the content posted on the company’s online platform.
Since it was a start-up, I got to handle multiple responsibilities and therefore, learn a lot.
I was a part of various important projects where I had to write engaging articles and e-mails or handle multiple phone calls.
Besides improving my writing and editing skills and professional ethics, I had another major learning. I understood how organisations worked and how the efforts of every single team member makes a significant impact.
I had a truly enriching internship experience which is why I have decided to pursue more during my college and I always encourage my peers to pursue them too.
Here are a few major learnings from my first internship that I’ll always treasure:
1. Aim for excellence
Like there’s no final goal for a business, there’s no final limit to excellence.
You always set new standards and move ahead to set a higher one.
No matter how tight the deadlines are or how high the work pressure is, you should always stay motivated and complete your work in the best way possible.
It is highly probable that even if your work includes a lot of creativity, it might get monotonous after a certain point of time.
This is where you need to find a scope of improvement, optimise the process and thus, set higher standards of excellence.
2. Always be curious
You must always try to know and question what’s going on in and outside your organisation, why a certain project is being taken up, or why a certain change was made to it.
A business is all about recognising a problem and finding out a way to solve it or optimising a current solution which makes it highly important for a professional to keep up a certain level of curiosity.
Moreover, it is only when you think about stuff and question it, that you learn more and improve.
3. Take initiatives
When you are curious and ask questions, you come up with ideas. However, it is not enough to simply share your idea, you need to be proactive.
You must research to back your idea and plan its execution to make it worthy enough to be taken up and put efforts for it.
This represents your ownership towards your work and your potential to take on new responsibilities.
4. Time management
It is always better to reach an hour early than being 5 minutes late as nothing speaks more about your professional etiquette than your ability to manage your time well.
It includes reaching office, meetings, and conferences before time and always complete your share of work ahead of deadlines.
This shows that you respect yours as well as others’ time and your ability to successfully fulfil your responsibilities on time.
A lot of teamwork goes behind achieving big goals. You depend on your team members to execute certain tasks and vice-versa.
It is incredibly important to continuously interact with your team members and be an active part of the team building activities.
This makes it easier for you to bond and coordinate with them when you are working together on a project.
6. Be polite and humble
A timely said thanks, please, and sorry can do wonders -- it's the magic of politeness and humility.
You must be able to accept feedback, learn from your mistakes, and never let a success get to your head.
Also, always be polite when sharing a feedback.
Appreciate the good parts, point out the pain points and help the person improve upon it.
*Lead image used for representational purposes only.