Two years ago, I was sitting in my advisor’s office and we discussed changing majors. I found the communications major curriculum wasn’t the right fit for me. We went through a few ideas and she later suggested professional writing. What? Professional…writing? I never heard of such a thing. She went on to explain the major. I was intrigued and knew it was the direction I wanted to go. Since then, my classes have focused on rhetoric and persuasion. I could have completed my classes and started PW related work after school, but God had other plans in mind.
The chance to intern for Treefrog happened back in the fall. I thought my schedule was set and I was content. However, it didn’t take long for God to pull me out of my comfort zone. I was placed in the professional workplace that mirrors what we’ve discussed in my PW courses. This was a total opposite of my experience working in a warehouse environment (where I currently work as well). Since September, I’ve been learning and observing what it’s like to work for a small business marketing agency. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve learned so much.
One of the most important aspects of being a good writer is effective research. Does this mean you have to know everything? No, it doesn’t. However, in order to write rich and informative content, research is required. Between school and work, I’ve come to appreciate research. It’s a fun opportunity to gain more knowledge about the content you’re delivering to the audience.
Reaching a target audience requires careful planning and research. It happens for both blog writing and planning social media. The early process of every blog required at least an hour or more of background research. I also did social media research for a client. It’s the little logistical things that help the clients in big ways.
Side note: Content writers are the knowers of random facts. “Did you know” is a common phrase in the office.
This has been a common theme throughout senior year. I’ve always been the person to stay in the safe zone and not put myself out there. However, working at Treefrog gave me the opportunity to try new things.It’s definitely been an adjustment working between a warehouse and marketing agency.
Working at Treefrog was a complete one eighty from the warehouse. I went from jeans and t-shirts to dresses and colorful pants. Overall, escaping my comfort zone has given me unique opportunities. I’ve written content for clients that I never thought I’d write for. Sure it was hard. Yes, I was frustrated, but it’s helped me develop into a better writer and young professional.
Speaking of getting out of your comfort zone, having others critique my work also helped me to grow as a writer. Other than peer reviews in class, I never had my writing heavily critiqued and edited. The vulnerability of putting your work out there was scary, but it has been really beneficial. I was not aware of my wordy-ness and lack of clarity. The internship at Treefrog not only taught me how to write for others, but also how to improve in my own writing.
If I had a dollar for every time I told myself another minute of work before taking a break, I’d buy a new car. You’ve probably read on previous intern blogs about how breaks were an important part of their experience. It’s helpful to have leaders encourage you to take a walking or coffee break whenever we need to. I eventually began taking breaks while doing homework. They really do help you from becoming burned out and regenerate your mind throughout the day. That’s why we love talking about breaks!
I’m being transparent because I have chance to be open about my experience. Through the trials and struggles of trying, learning, re-editing, and learning some more, I have learned so much. Treefrog gave me two semesters and they helped me grow immensely.
Are you a young college student pondering an internship? My advice: take it! Don’t worry whether you’re qualified or not. Internships were created for a hands-on learning experience. If you have the opportunity to take yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll definitely grow. Don’t be timid and wait. You are capable of so much more!
Treefrog Marketing is an advertising agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.