"Go in knowing what you want to get out. If you go in empty minded, you'll come out empty handed."
If you're in school, about to be in school, interning or looking for a full time job, ask yourself - what do you want to get out of it?
What do you want to learn?
What do you want to get better at?
What do you want to conquer?
What skills or experiences do you want to leave with?
What points do you want to add to your resume? Or campaigns to your book?
Really take a minute (or few days) to think about what you want to get out of the next 3 to 6 to 12 months. (Personally I can only make concrete plans for 3-6 months ahead. Who knows when the pigeons are finally going to rise up and rule the earth?)
Make a list of where/who you want to be in the next 6 months then make a list of the steps you need to get there.
* Who do you need to talk to?
* What do you need to do?
* How can you strategically place yourself in the right situations and around the right people to make sure you're on the right path?
Be honest and clear about your intentions:
If you want to work with a certain copywriter because they're good at long copy and you need a long copy campaign in your book, say that.Yes, you should also be thinking about what all you're going to give, but also think about what you'd like to receive out of an experience. Who do you want to be at the end of it? How do you want to grow from it? How will having done this make you better?
If you want to take a certain class because that professor usually sets his students up with internships, talk to the (I can't remember what they call the person who helps you pick classes. But talk to him/her.)
If you want to go to a recording or shoot to learn about what it's like, tell your creative director.
If you want to work on this project so you can get exposure to digital campaigns, speak up.
No one else will really decide this for you. After high school you're pretty much on your own to determine your own path. In this business, whether you're in school or on the job, how far you get largely depends on how far you're willing to go. If you don't perform, you'll fail. If you fail, it's your fault.
Your success depends on you.