Megan Anderson graduated this month with a degree in Letters, Arts and, Sciences. Megan spent her last semester as an intern in the Career Services Office at Penn State Altoona. During her internship, Megan enjoyed hands-on experiences and helped implement some exciting opportunities for students.
My Life as an Intern
My last semester at Penn State Altoona gave me a unique opportunity: the chance to see the Career Services Office from a perspective different from that of a student. I spent my final semester in a period of transition from student to professional, and I enjoyed having the opportunity to see the process unfold “behind the curtain” for many other students.
I started to help organize some unique events last semester with my advisor, Rebecca Maguda, one of the career counselors on our campus. I was able to identify areas in Career Services from which I wanted more support as a student, and then we began brainstorming unique events that would allow these areas to grow. Some examples included: hosting a networking session with local employers to practice for upcoming career fairs; organizing a panel of upperclassmen to talk about their internship experiences and answer questions from other students; and organizing a panel of liberal arts professors to talk to students about “what on earth to do with a liberal arts degree.”
It has been a long, yet rewarding, journey over the past few months. One of the hardest lessons I have learned is that just because the resources are available to students, doesn’t mean the students know about them or take advantage of them. This meant that I needed to adjust my approach to spend more time interacting with students beyond the time spent planning an event. I also realized the payoff for devoting a small amount of time and how it helped the dedicated students who took advantage of these opportunities.
A word of advice from an intern: get out of the office and on campus to create a more approachable persona to the students. Emails and flyers are nice, but talking to someone who genuinely cares about his or her professional development may change someone’s life.
I am so thankful to the entire staff in the Career Services Office for being completely supportive and advising me on every part of my internship and personal development.