The first month interning at the Center for Global Studies has opened my eyes to the reality of life beyond college. The difference between college and the little taste I have acquired of the real world isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just that it takes time to adjust to the change. Although I am a senior, this is my first internship but so far I have learned a lot of skills that will make me attractive in the job market and I will also be able to transfer them to my first “real” job. I do feel as though I am behind in relevant work experience in comparison to my peers but am very thankful for this opportunity to intern at the Center because I feel as though I am catching up. When I attended my first job fair at the Bryce Jordan Center this past Tuesday, I was able to talk about what I have learned so far as an intern in a way that attracted the attention of a few recruiters. This made me especially happy because I will continue to learn and experience a variety of skills that are necessary to stand out in the job market
My first office hour session centered around creating posters for the annual Brown Bag Lecture Series, which is sponsored by the Center. I worked on a number of posters as well a few different varieties that will be used to advertise the event. I created a poster to advertise the entire series, a list of lectures for both semesters and individual flyers for each specific event. It probably took me longer than it should have but I was trying to get used to the software and wanted to make sure they did not contain any errors. At my last office hour session, I followed up on this task by finalizing the poster for the first lecture. I printed around fifty copies and hung them up around Burrowes and Sparks. I enjoyed this task a lot because I was able to see it through pretty much from start to finish.
Another aspect of my internship is teaching at a local K-8 charter school. Every Monday I lead an after school club, which focuses on Spanish culture to a group of fourth and fifth graders. I like this aspect of the internship because I can take what I experienced while studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain and share it with people who are especially eager to learn about it. Before the first club, I was anxious and nervous because it was the first time that I had ever stood in front of a classroom. Luckily, my students were not as rowdy as the kids in the club before me so I was able to accomplish what I had hoped, which included an introduction of the club, what the students know about Spanish culture, and what they hope to learn. During the second club, we learned about some famous soccer (fútbol) players that are either from Spain or play there. The kids did an activity where they had to match a picture, what club team they play for, and a few interesting facts to the correct player. The activity may have been a little challenging but most of the kids seemed to enjoy it.
Since I am taking this class for credit, I am required to blog weekly about my experiences while also taking note of what it takes to have a successful internship. The first blog focused on my goals for the semester and the importance of writing them down. I now believe that identifying what I want to learn while I am interning at the Center for Global Studies will make it more likely that I accomplish what I set out to do. Although I am majoring in Political Science I have an interest in working in Public Relations. This semester I am taking a class on the subject so I am really interested to see how a press release is written and how organizations transfer it to the appropriate sources. By the end of the semester I want to be able to write a well-written press release. I also want to make it to at least six networking events because I have recently learned that networking creates opportunities for employment, whether it is in the immediate future or down the road. Sometimes I do things just for the sake of doing things but I am going to make a valiant effort to gain the most from this experience by doing more than is requested of me, attending info sessions, networking at CGS sponsored events and learning as many skills that can be beneficial in the future.
So far I have had a great experience because I am learning the skills necessary to be successful in the workforce. One thing that is especially significant is that I am learning how to better communicate with my peers and supervisors. Good communication is the key to a successful organization and although I have learned this in a number of my classes, it is interesting to see the truth it holds in practice. Ideally, I would like to take on more of a leadership position in the future but I still have a lot of learning to do before I can be a successful one. Since this experience has been successful thus far, I am interested and excited to see what I learn down the road.