Summer 2015 Internship Reflections

It’s been officially two weeks since I ended my internship, and in that span of time, I traveled home to Buffalo, packed for Dickinson, and moved back for cross country preseason! It’s been a pretty hectic week, but as a result, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my experiences in Philadelphia. Below are my takeaways from this summer:

Keep a positive attitude, and don’t complain.
THIS IS ESSENTIAL. It seems obvious, but I cannot stress how important this is! As an intern, there were some days when my supervisor didn’t have enough for me to do, so I worked on general office management tasks like filing. Yes, I wanted to drag my feet, and yes, it was incredibly boring. However, it’s so important to do these tasks with a smile (a little enthusiasm doesn’t hurt either!), and most importantly, do them well. You’ll find very quickly that interns with a positive attitude spend much less time doing these mundane tasks, and more time working on the big projects.

Get to know people from every department.
Regardless of how big or small the organization is, make a point to get to know people from every department. If you pigeonhole yourself and stay within your own team, you can miss out on amazing connections and a wealth of knowledge! However, there is a fine line between developing relationships and forcing them, and people will notice the difference. Doing small things like thanking someone for their help on a project (or in my case, offering to go buy cough drops for my sick supervisor) will get you noticed! You never know where a compliment or good deed can lead you… call it karma.

Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions.
Asking questions and voicing your opinion shows that you’re invested in your internship, and that it’s important to you that tasks are done well. Your supervisor would much rather answer a quick question than have you bumble through an assignment incorrectly because you don’t understand. Communication is essential, so don’t underestimate it and utilize any time you have one on one with your supervisor.

Just go for it.
The only reason I ended up in Philadelphia this summer was because I decided to throw caution to the wind and apply for an unpaid internship, even though I knew there was no way I could afford to do anything like this without some sort of financial assistance. However, I was fortunate enough to not only receive the internship, but also an incredible amount of aid from Dickinson that allowed me to have this opportunity. Long story short, just go for it, you never know what will happen!

cannot emphasize how wonderful and amazing this opportunity was, I am so grateful for everyone who helped me accomplish this! I had a wonderful time interning with NSC, and I am proud to say that I made several solid connections, learned a lot about nonprofit work, and solidified that this kind of work is what I want to pursue after college… what more could I ever ask for in a summer internship?

Thank you to all who took the time to read my blog, I truly appreciate it. I’m excited to say that I will be completing another internship this fall with a nonprofit based in Chicago. This internship will be remotely based, and I will be focusing solely on grant writing! Needless to say, I’m very excited to see what these next few weeks bring… I’m thinking maybe at least another blog post or two.

Until next time,

Claire

 

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