Emily Hansen pursued her creative pursuits and learned about entrepreneurship during her internship.
What was the focus of your internship and why did you choose this experience?
The focus of my internship was designing my own crocheted products, such as bags of various designs, and creating a shop on a platform that I can sell to others. I found it very satisfying to create products that I designed myself. Being able to visually see not only all of my hard work come together, but also my creativity thrive was a very special moment to have. I decided to pursue this creative and entrepreneur-focused internship because owning and operating my own business has been a wish I have had for some time. Seizing the opportunity to focus my internship in this way was beneficial because I knew I would be able to learn a lot along the journey.
What did you find challenging about your internship?
What I found the most challenging about my internship was changing my mind set from “crocheting for fun” to “crocheting for the business.” My progress on my personal crochet projects was much slower and relaxed than what I had to do for the Etsy Shop, which needed to be accomplished on time and correctly. This challenge is sure to arise when you turn a hobby into a business like I did.
What skills did you develop in this internship?
The major transferable skill I practiced and developed was time management. I knew I needed to develop a reasonable schedule to follow that would ensure I was not spending too much time on one item. This took many trials and errors to find a good rhythm. In addition, I gained knowledge in marketing after I met with my advisor who strongly recommended utilizing social media platforms to spread word of my shop. With marketing not being one of my strongest points, this aspect of my internship allowed me to learn and practice in the comfort of my own internship.
How has your internship experience influenced your plans for your future?
My internship experience has influenced my plans for the future by opening up the possibility of being my own boss in my future career. Since my internship, I have looked into owning and operating my own AirBnB business and continuing my crochet shop as a source of side income and creativity.
What advice do you have for other students as they consider their options for their internship?
Don’t worry about trying to find the “right” internship that will lead to your future career immediately after graduation. Use this opportunity to explore career fields you haven’t before or companies you wouldn’t have considered right away. Being able to take on an internship with the assistance of a professor like Stephanie Springer (the Internship Director) and other mentors is hugely beneficial.