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24 Terms You Need To Know Before Starting Your Internship

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Congratulations, you landed the summer internship of your dreams! You show up on the first day a few minutes early in the perfect outfit, ready to dive right in. As your boss is explaining what your duties will be, there are a few acronyms or phrases thrown in that leave you totally confused. Asking for clarification is never a bad thing, but here are some common phrases that you should be familiar with going into your internship so that you can impress your boss with how much you already know when you start! Her Campus writers have shared some terms they have come across in their internships to help you show up sounding totally ready for the job.

GENERAL TERMS

EOD: This very important acronym stands for “end of day, usually used as a deadline for important projects,” said Aubrey Nagle, a collegiette at Drexel University. This phrase means a task or project that should be completed by the end of the business day—NOT by that night at midnight.

Gopher:  This phrase is “a term sometimes used to describe interns when all they do is ‘go for’ things all day, like coffee etc.,” said Aubrey. Completing simple tasks like making copies or grabbing lunch for your supervisor is something that most interns have to do, but the term can still have a negative connotation if that is all you ever do during your internship. It is important to make sure that you are being allowed to learn and participate in an internship, not spending all of your time in line at Starbucks!

Exit Interview: According to Aubrey, this is “something to make sure you ask your supervisor for before you leave so you can go over how you've improved over your internship and what you can improve on.” Exit interviews are extremely valuable because they allow you to ask questions about what you did well in an internship, what you can improve on, how your boss got to where they are today, and what advice they have for you in terms of future career opportunities. It can also be called an “informational interview.”

RFP: This stands for “request for proposal,” which is a term that a company uses when they want to solicit work from an extraneous source. “Organizations typically put them together when they are looking for products or services from an outside vendor,” said Rachel Wendte from Butler University. “For example, ‘non-profit seeks proposals for business development consultant to improve office efficiency to free up resources.’ They then detail further requirements that each bidder must submit, and then the organization chooses who to work with from the responses they receive.”

FINANCE

P&L: This stands for “Profit and loss,” says Lauren Paylor, a junior at Duke University. It is a financial statement that details the revenues, costs and expenses incurred by a company during a specific period of time—usually a quarter (so a 3 month period of the year) or the entire fiscal year (all 12 months). It can also be referred to as an “income statement.”

Dow Jones Industrial Average: The Dow is a financial index in the United States made up of 30 of the largest, most influential publicly owned companies. It includes well-known companies such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Walt Disney, and shows the results of the trading of these companies’ stocks during a day.

Nasdaq Composite: A financial index primarily comprised of technology and growth companies.

S&P 500: A stock market index made up of 500 leading publicly traded companies in the United States, maintained by Standard and Poor’s.

CD: This stands for “certificate of deposit.” Similar to a savings account, these are referred to as a “time deposit.” This means that you put money in and there is a fixed maturity date, at which time the consumer can withdraw the money and any interest that has been made on the money.

ENTERTAINMENT

Nielsen Soundscan: This is a system that tracks the sales of songs, albums and music videos. This is where Billboard gets their sales data, so it’s the official source of sales records in the music industry. It is used by all parts of the entertainment industry: record labels, publishing firms, music retailers, independent promoters, film and TV, and artist management.

Rider: A list of requests made by a performer like an actor or singer. In entertainment, it often refers to what the talent would like to have backstage or in their dressing room, such as specific food or drinks.

360 deal: This is a management deal in which a music company provides financial support for an artist in exchange for a percentage of all that artist’s income (including record sales, tours, merchandise, etc). However, as physical record sales dwindle, these deals are becoming increasingly less common since artists don’t want to share their income with a record label.

Press kit: A packet of newspaper clippings, reviews of movies/TV/music and theater productions, a bio, headshot and resume given to the media and interested industry professionals. It also can be called a “press package.” Interns in entertainment publicity will often be asked to help compile these kits.

Call sheet: The daily sheet for a production that lists all the scenes to be shot that day as well as actor and crew arrival times. Interns can be asked to type this up if they are working on a music video, TV, or film set.

FASHION

Line sheet: A printed list of every item in the collection, including photos or drawings, materials, wholesale prices, and retail prices. “I first heard the term ‘line sheet’ when I interned for a fashion designer,” said Hannah Orenstein, a student at NYU. “My boss had me call up dozens of boutiques to see if they were interested in carrying the collection, and invariably, every single person I called asked to see the line sheet.”

Collection: All of the clothing and accessories available to consumers during a certain season. Designers generally have a collection for every season, and the collection is meant to be cohesive, with a specifically unified image or tone.

RTW: This stands for “ready to wear.” This means a piece of clothing was made to standard measurements, and is meant to be purchased off of the rack and worn. Many designers have both a high fashion line as well as an RTW line.

Androgynous: Androgyny refers to a look that is of indeterminate gender. This look commonly features garments and styles that are commonly associated with the opposite gender to the wearer, like women wearing ties or oversized dress shirts.

Go-see: This refers to a modeling audition, when a model comes in to be seen by a potential client such as a fashion label. This is one way that designers find potential models for their campaigns.

MARKETING/ADVERTISING/PUBLISHING

ROI: This phrase means “return on investment.” The purpose of this measure is to see if something is worth its cost; for example, seeing how much an advertisement will cost to create versus how much revenue it could bring in. “I worked in an ad firm and this phrase was passed out a lot. It means to see sales that are created through a certain channel (advertisement),” said Elizabeth Blasi, a collegiette from Clemson. This can be useful in a variety of fields, since most companies are interested in comparing potential costs with potential results.

Tear sheet: This is a physical sheet that is torn out of a publication, normally to prove to a client that an advertisement was published. “If you intern at a magazine, you should know what ‘tear sheets’ are—individual pages of each issue that are filed and chronicled. They aren't actually torn, just never bound,” said Katrina Laivins from the University of Connecticut. “I made the mistake of physically tearing out pages of an issue when I didn't know this term!”

Brief: The summary package of what needs to be done in a project/campaign, including objectives, current market landscape, and target demographic information. This is then presented to the client to get their thoughts on the advertising strategy.

Pitch: A meeting where an agency’s staff shares their ideas/visions for a brand/service/product to a potential client. The ad agency will come up with ideas for a campaign and bring visuals to show the client what ideas they have to sell their product.

Clips: Samples of your published work often requested when applying for a magazine job or a freelance writing or editing assignment. Clips usually refer to those stories you’ve written, or a byline piece for a magazine, newspaper, or other medium, but they can also refer to stories you’ve edited.

 

With these phrases under your belt, you’ll be on track to impress your boss with how prepared you are at your summer internship!


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