The internship experience: be different


by Katie Burns, ID Magazine Editor-In-Chief

As I was looking for an internship during the summer of my sophomore year, I was searching for your typical graphic design position; poster design, logo making, and creating branding for certain companies. 

While searching, I realized that the graphic design profession is not just about making graphics and posters. There is also design in social media advertising, email chains, video graphics, magazine ads and so much more. Once I realized that, my job opportunities broadened more than I ever imagined. 

On Indeed, I found a marketing internship opportunity with an ag firm called Conterra Ag Capital based out of West Des Moines. After reading the description of the company, I doubted myself thinking I could never receive a position in agriculture due to my little knowledge of it. After talking with my professor about the position, he told me it is not just about the knowledge you have in a specific field but also your skill set that can impact it.

Once I heard those words, I knew it was time to apply for something that was out of my element. I picked my best pieces to show in my portfolio, listed all my skills and experience in the graphic design field, and hoped for the best.

Not even two days later, I received an email asking to be interviewed. I was shocked. All I knew was that I needed to believe in myself and my skills to show them I could be a good fit for their organization.

Come the day of the interview, I introduced myself and the skills and knowledge I have in graphic design and marketing. I was asked the question about my background in agriculture and told them I had no experience whatsoever. As long as you are honest about your skill set, you will not be judged for it.

The interview ended and once I hung up the phone, I started to cry tears of joy. In my head, I knew that was the best interview I ever had with a company. Even though I didn’t have experience in agriculture, I knew I impressed them with my background in design and marketing.

After about a week, I received an offer from Conterra to be their marketing intern for the summer. Even though I was shocked since I did not have agriculture experience, I knew they were touched by my skill set within the marketing field.

Fast forward to the present, I have gained 647 followers on the Conterra LinkedIn site with the amount of content I have created. I have created multiple layouts for web banners on agricultural sites, made tons of business cards, printed many posters and browsed photos for blog postings. That isn’t even the end of it.

For those who might be going through the same thing I did, do not be scared to get out of your comfort zone. Apply for internships you might not have much knowledge about. Find companies you have the skillset for but are able to learn more about. Be confident in your skillset and you will be able to do anything you set your mind to.