Well, it’s that time of year. Notebooks and pencils have been selling like crazy, kids are back in school and learning new subject material, and summer internships have come to an end as the first official day of Fall approaches tomorrow, Saturday, September 22nd. And with this, the Intern Files v.2.0 comes to a close. But have no fear! My work here at AtomicDC is not yet finished. I was fortunate enough to accept a part-time offer as a Social Media Coordinator with AtomicDC. I’m grateful to have them working with me so that I may produce social media content for my beloved clients around my college Fall ’12 class schedule. How great is that?! So, consider this my “graduation” from internship to coordinator at Atomic Design & Consulting (since I’m “just a little” anxious to graduate somethingalready!).

In wrapping up the Intern Files, I asked myself what I learned and what I will take away from this experience with AtomicDC as I “graduate” to my new position. The truth is, I’m not finished learning quite yet, and I don’t think someone can necessarily ever be finished learning new tricks and trades in this field. The internet and online marketing world is ever-changing, and so we must change with it. This brings me to my first learned skill at AtomicDC:

1. Be adaptable. Whether Google has changed their algorithms yet again (Check out Laura Mitchell’s previous blog post for more information), your client has decided to change something drastic about their company, or your internet goes down suddenly, you must be willing and able to make due and make changes. Being able to adjust quickly to a frustrating, always-changing environment is a key characteristic needed in the realm of social media. This also means adapting to the new and ever-changing trends in online marketing and social media, in order to gain interest, communication, and feedback from your followers.

2. Network. To some of you, this word strikes you as obvious. Sure, as a social media coordinator you want to help market your clients by networking their brand, engaging in conversation with old and new customers, and making as many connections as possible. The thing I learned at AtomicDC is just how important it is to network in person, too. This means attending outside events and presentations that further your knowledge and understanding of social media- and SEO-related topics, corresponding over the phone and through emails with clients in order to build relationships with them, and never backing down from an offer that can further your education and can help you meet new people. Events like SMC Dallas and Social Media Breakfast Club can help you and grow you more than you’d realize.

3. Document… everything. Recall the section above where I mentioned the need to be adaptable during the event of your internet going down. I can’t stress enough the importance of documenting everything you do in the workplace. This can be anything from content for clients, to tasks you are assigned, to emails between a client and yourself. Document, save to your hard-drive, print it out, write it down, whatever it takes. It can save you in the long-run when you need to look back on what content worked for a client in the past, what tasks you still needed to get done, what important things were said at the meeting with your co-workers last week. In lieu of raving on and on about how much I love sticky notes for this reason, I’ll just provide you with a lovely picture that gets my point across. Bottom line: you can never document too much.

4. Always be eager for more. Like I’ve mentioned before, the realm of social media and online marketing is always changing as new statistics come about and new applications are introduced. There will always be something new to learn, and a great employee and coordinator will be the person who is eager to find information on the new ideas in this field of technology and be knowledgeable in the facts before implementing said ideas. I know many have said that you should love your job in order to grow, but it rings true in this field. The only way you will digest and consume all the new information being thrown at you (whether it be regarding Photoshop, SEO, Social Media, etc.) is if you are eager to learn it. Simply coming in to punch the clock and be done does not fly in this field, and does not create a positive workplace in any office. Be anxious for new information; be eager to step up to the challenge of finding new strategies and mastering new ideas.

The Atomic Design & Consulting internship has given me hope in what I want to do with my career. Being a junior in college, I wasn’t quite sure of what path I wanted to pursue. The summer internship program taught me the in and outs of social media and allowed me to showcase my writing talents. I learned how personable and enjoyable it is to work with a small-sized company and how engaging and fun it can be to show up to work if you truly love what you’re doing. I can’t wait to see what this next step/position at AtomicDC has in store for me, but I’m sure it will be nothing less than phenomenal.

** We are currently accepting applications for our Fall 2012 Social Media/SEO Internship position. If you’re interested in applying for an internship with AtomicDC.com, check out our requirements here and send over your resume!

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