This summer I had the amazing opportunity to work as a tactical marketing intern for John Deere at their new Intelligent Solutions Group Facility in Urbandale, IA. My intern project revolved around developing the tour process for the new facility, assisting with the development of an introductory video, and sharing why John Deere’s Precision Ag business is important to visitors. Through my internship, I learned a ton about the people, the business, and how to grow as a young professional. Besides the outcome of my intern projects, I had a few key takeaways that I would like to share with you all!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
My first week of my internship, I wanted to be able to accomplish everything by myself as I’m a pretty independent person. However, due to the nature of my projects, I had lots of questions and I learned that asking someone for help when you don’t know something is better than pretending you know everything. As an intern, they don’t expect you to know exactly what you are doing at the start. Take advantage of the help and learn additional information even if it might not be necessary for your project, you will definitely learn more about the business that way!
Ask for feedback
During one of our orientation conferences, some of the speakers shared to not be afraid to ask managers for their feedback on how you are doing. I took this to heart and during my one-on-one conversations with my manager I asked and learned what I was doing great and where I could do better. It takes a lot of courage to ask others what they think of your performance, but I promise you it’s worth hearing. This helped me see some of my areas of weakness and helped me grow as an individual. This is a key lesson I’ve taken back to my campus jobs as well as organizations where I serve as an officer.
Build a STRONG network
John Deere has an amazing work culture with lots and lots of talented individuals. During my first week, my manager encouraged me to talk to others in the business and initially set up a couple of conversations with other employees. After these conversations, I added networking with others to my internship goals. Throughout my summer, I met so many people with unique stories and learned why they loved working at John Deere. Even though I was “just” an intern, people made time for me which is something I really valued.
Communication is key
My projects allowed me the opportunity to talk to lots of people. Always introduce yourself and be prepared for a firm handshake. In addition, it’s okay to talk to others and learn more about them before getting down to the task at hand.
Advocate for yourself
Like I stated earlier if you need help, make sure to reach out and ask. But also make sure if you need something for a project and you are not getting a response in your inbox, sending a follow up email is completely acceptable. People are busy and some messages might just get lost in their inbox!