I do not need to complete an internship in order to graduate. For my major, Urban Studies, I am instead going to complete a Study Abroad opportunity. Because I am not getting college credit for an internship, I wanted to find one that was paid. Before I could do that, I realized I would have to quit some of my jobs first. I had been working with a non-profit organization for most of the semester in order to set something up. As it was nearing May, I was getting pretty nervous about finding paid internships over the summer. I reached out to a connection I had made earlier in the year to see if there was anything available. To my surprise, she emailed me back almost instantly asking me to start an internship she had been planning on creating. I went in for an “interview” and she ended up accepting me on the spot. No need for an application or even a follow up. However, it almost two months to get the position approved by the appropriate people. In the meantime, I had casually mentioned that I landed this internship with another connection I had, and inquired about a posting I saw her make asking for an intern in her office. I was not as interested because I assumed it was for high school students. Again, to my surprise, she turned around and emailed me within hours offering me a paid internship for the summer. I had to take it. Before I knew it, I had three internships and a crazy busy schedule for the summer (on top of other jobs and involvement). After weighing my options, I decided to stick with the two internships I was handed pretty much on the spot.
I could not be happier with my decision. My advice to others? ALWAYS make connections and ALWAYS show your best self. These individuals recognized my true potential and saw that I would be a great asset to their team. One internship is through a chamber of commerce where I am overseeing a business retention and expansion survey which I conduct with CEO’s, CFO’s, and COO’s on businesses in the town. At my other internship I am cross-training in every department of the township and overseeing a records and retention archiving project where I get to see important documents dating back to the early 1900s. Of course I do also have to perform more tedious tasks such as copying, filing, phone calls, and stuffing envelopes, but I understand the importance of these tasks in order to carry out the mission of the organization. Thankfully I chose to be with organizations that appreciate all of my efforts and trust me to oversee such important projects. Not only are these internships provide tons of learning opportunities, but they also provide incredible future growth. I can not wait to see what the fall looks like!