By Liz Mosher ’10, CES Peer Advisor
It has only been a month since I started my internship and I already feel like I could talk for hours about it.
To give you a little recap, I scored an incredible internship just from bumping into an employer at the Career Fair last semester. As if constructed just for me, the internship was advertised as a community development and marketing position, two things I have always been interested in.
Already busy with a job and senior year of college, I was reluctant to even meet for an interview at first. However, after two coffee dates, I knew that I would get along great with the employees, as their values and described work environment seemed to be completely in sync with what I wanted.
Over winter break I had a lot of time to think about my internship, I imagined myself running famous ad campaigns and establishing healthy relationships with the community. But then it occurred to me…I had no idea what tasks I’d be doing. Don’t interns get stuck with trivial tasks that the full-time staff prefers not to do? I had no clue what was in store for me.
My first day on the job blew me away! Instead of taking weeks to train and do menial tasks, my supervisors let me jump right in. In fact, on my first day, one of my supervisors took me on a trip to their huge printing partners near the Tacoma mall. In three hours I learned so much about marketing and graphic design in relation to printing. Did you know huge printing companies have several stages to their process and only four color templates? I did not realize how much work goes into the mass printing process, which subsequently affects how many layers you can have in your marketing design and what color scheme you choose to do. At the end of the printing tour, I was on a high.
When we arrived back at the office, I received my first big project to work on. Then another. Now I am able to walk into the office and take initiative without waiting for supervisor direction. In addition to assisting in meaningful projects, I discovered that my position also fits my values. For instance, I have always enjoyed volunteering within the community, but volunteering always seemed to be something separate from work. Boy was I wrong. The organization I work for makes sure to volunteer around the community at least once a month. Who would’ve thought I would go into work and get the chance to volunteer at a food bank for three hours?
Many of my presuppositions about companies and work have been turned upside down; interns aren’t just relegated tedious tasks. And, organizations can and do mix philanthropy with work! Hallelujah!
I’m doing this internship for credit; follow this link to learn how you can do the same: http://www.pugetsound.edu/about/offices–services/ces/students/building-experience/internships/registering-for-credit/
© 2010 Career and Employment Services, University of Puget Sound
Photo: Kris Hay