Monday, September 16, 2013

What I learned: 1st week of my internship

Phew, fall semester is in full force. It has already been crazy balancing classes, an internship, and living in the city. I am in a special program through my university, called the Urban Semester program. I will live and learn in Cleveland, Ohio for the semester. (check it out here).

A requirement of my program is to have an internship in Cleveland. It just worked out perfectly for my junior year as internships are very important, especially as a junior and senior. My housemates and I work with 9 different non-profit organizations in the city. The organization I am working with is Esperanza, Inc. They work with the growing hispanic and latino middle-school and high-school population.

I started two weeks ago as their communications and Public relations intern working directly under the associate director. Being my first internship, it has been a learning curve. My director threw me the first day. It was quite the experience the first week so I thought I would share some things I learned.

It's all in the little details. It's really embarrassing when your supervisor asks you to check a list and when she goes through it you realize you completely missed about half of what you were supposed to do as she fixes your mistakes. Embarrassing. Double-check, triple-check, etc. everything. Making sure the little-details are accounted for make a big difference.

Names. The second day of my internship, I attended an event sponsored by Esperanza. I would try to tell my supervisor things about what guests needed or that someone had a question, but I could never remember the name of the person. I kept saying, "That person...umm..what's her name?" After a couple times of floundering for names, my supervisor stopped me and said, "If there is one thing you learn tonight, know that learning people's names is very important." Learning people's names is a skill. I am glad I learned this the first week so I can continue to practice and hone in on this skill throughout the semester.

Don't try to break your new shoes in. I do not own a pair of flats so I decided to wear my brand-new wedges. They needed broken in so why not break them in at my internship. wrong. The amount of band-aids and antibiotic cream I went through in one week was ridiculous. Please learn from this: no matter how cute the shoes are, break them in in moderation or your feet will be very angry with you.

Be early. For my urban program, I have to use public transportation to and from my internship. Yes, public transportation is not necessarily the most reliable, but that has only taught me the importance of being early.  I thought allotting 10-15 minutes to be early would be enough. Nope! Not when your bus is 10-20 minutes
late. So give yourself plenty of time for unexpected delays.


Now that I have these under my belt, I can continue to work on them as they will only help me progress throughout the semester. I know I will run into many other things, but I understand that mistakes happen and they will only help me grow as an aspiring young professional.

What things have you learned from your internship? Any tips on making the most of your internship?

Happy Monday!

1 comment :

  1. I'm so terrible with people's names! Try to think of a way to remember as they're introducing themselves. As for the shoes, OUCH...that sounds painful. Too bad we both don't have a pair of Tieks to carry with us in our purses. ;)