Gwynne Murphy works as the Marketing Manager for the leading business communication provider Bandwidth.com, Inc., but she started off there as an intern. In this interview, she discusses how she combined her prior internship experiences with her networking skills and general awesomeness and used them to secure her current management position.
1. You started your first internship back in January 2007 and finished your sixth internship in May 2010. What made you decide to take on so many internship experiences?
My school placed a big emphasis on having internships. By reaching out to local firms, I was able to gain real-world work experience and relevant industry know-how before I even graduated. My internships taught me how different-sized companies function and gave me first-hand experience using current technology. Your career is a learning process, and internships offer valuable opportunities at the beginning of your journey. You can try out various roles in different industries or work on a variety of projects with different types of clients.
2. How were you able to secure so many positions in such a competitive climate? Any particular school organizations help you?
Not to sound conceited, but…by being awesome! In all seriousness, it is important to build upon each work experience and learn something new. I looked for opportunities where I would be challenged by assignments. The ability to work on new projects and a good client mix was invaluable to my learning. I took the initiative by reaching out to companies where I wanted to work and and always included a copy of my resume.
Informational interviews and networking were also invaluable in my job search. A networking event actually led me to my current employer. I was able to bypass the interview process during the event. I met with key people in the company and they were able to get positive references from some of the event attendees with whom I had worked.
3. Was it the number of internships or specific experiences that gave your current employers the confidence to know that you could be a marketing manager so soon?
My previous experiences and excellent recommendations definitely made me a good candidate. I believe it was my proven ability that helped me transition to a full-time employee. As an intern, I really felt like a valued member of the team and wasn’t afraid to take on new projects, propose new ideas or offer my opinion. I truly took ownership of certain projects and was fully responsible for their outcome. It was nice to know that they saw me as an asset to the company who would further strengthen the team.
4. What has been the toughest part of making the transition from intern to manager?
My biggest challenge has been finding a good balance between my added responsibilities that come with being a full-time employee. I am working on several new projects that touch all parts of the organization, so I need to be very organized to move forward while the time lines remain somewhat fluid.
5. What advice do you have for other interns that want to move up the ladder just as quickly?
To be brief: Believe in yourself. You never know what you can do until you try. Learn as much as you can from each and every experience. Someone once told me that your career is a journey, not a destination. It is a valid statement – your goals and aspirations are in a constant state of change. The point is to enjoy the ride.
- Intern Life Motivation: Rocking Your Relationships Along With Your Internship (theinternview.com)
- Intern Life Transition: Creating Opportunity as Your Internship Ends (theinternview.com)
- Intern Life After College: 5 Qualities of the Right Internship (theinternview.com)