Coming into my internship at the Center for Global Studies I had no idea what to expect. I had never worked an office job so it was hard to even predict what types of responsibilities I could potentially have. I heard mixed reviews from friends and other students who had interned at other places over the summer. Some expressed they did a lot of busy work while others took on a more significant role. Coming into the internship, I hoped I would do more than just busy work because I needed to highlight skills that I learned at CGS on my resume. After talking to Associate Director, Sarah Combs about the internship in mid-July, I tried to anticipate what I would be doing. I was a little apprehensive about teaching the after school club because I did not have any training as a teacher nor did I know the first thing about keeping elementary aged children engaged with learning. As for the other parts of the internship, I hoped that if I worked hard, asked questions when I needed to, and did my best I would be successful.
In terms of expectations and reality, nothing surprised me too much when it came to working in the “real world.” With guidance from Sarah, I was able to complete all assignments to the best of my ability. I gained experience in ways that a classroom could never have taught me including working with others over an extended period of time and organizing the Girl Rising event. Both taught me the value of email etiquette, which is a skill that I will definitely take with me to my new job. At times I felt overwhelmed with internship work and schoolwork but I believe I was able to handle it well. Juggling multiple tasks is an important skill to have in the workplace so I am more than happy that CGS taught me how to prioritize and stay organized with all assigned tasks. I am very fortunate that I was able to have this “practice run” of working in an office, being accountable to someone other than myself, and the importance of meeting deadlines.
During the fall semester, I took a Public Relations class and quickly saw the similarities between my internship at the Center for Global Studies and certain aspects of the class. The Center does a lot of public outreach events including America Reads in the fall and World Stories Alive! in spring. The class taught me that a positive presence within the community is essential to the well-being of any company or organization because a company’s perception determines its success. The Center’s outreach events also helped me determine that I really enjoy working with the public. The experience with World Stories Alive! has been especially rewarding because I have seen more stages of the outreach process. As lead intern, I organized the schedule, assigned people to organize each week’s handout, and ensured that the interns showed up to their designated shift.
On the Saturdays that I assisted at Schlow Library, I saw it all come together in a way that made both the children and their parents happy. I also learned how to write a press release, which was a topic highlighted in my public relations class. As I learned in class, the press release I created for the Flynt Leverett’s talk on Iran was short and to the point. I made sure the essential information was discussed in the first paragraph. Overall, the internship allowed me to take what I learned in class and apply it to a real world situation, which will greatly benefit me in my new job come September.
My time at the Center has been a rewarding experience. I expect to use a lot of what I learned at the Center when I enter the “real world” including communicating with fellow employees and supervisors, working as a team, and meeting deadlines. I am very glad that I had the opportunity to become lead intern because it proved hard work does pay off. The nine months I spent at the Center not only enhanced my resume but also who I am as a potential employee.
Flyer for the campus-wide film screening and panel discussion that I organized.