Internship Insight: Now What?

You have got the internship, but soon after the celebration dance has ended, you begin to slightly panic. Am I even qualified to do this? This is just one of the many questions that race through your brain as you become nervous for your first day. Don’t worry, these thoughts are normal and your worries will slowly disappear throughout your time on the job.

The internship doesn’t start with the work it actually starts with you. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses and how these attributes can contribute to your realm of work can go a long way. If you understand what your weaknesses are, you are able to identity when something may be out of your comfort zone or out of your abilities, and that is okay. Because you have recognized that you may not be familiar with how to do something, the best approach is to ask. If you do not ask questions or have comments about a particular task, your coworkers and your supervisors are expecting that you understand every detail of the assignment and more importantly that you also know how to correctly complete it. By asking questions you seem more interested and invested in the task, but you will also be able to complete the task correctly. The more you ask questions, the more comfortable you will become in doing so.

As the internship progresses there are many different stages that you will go through. Dr. Moore had shared an interesting article called “Moving Beyond the Academic Community” (http://wcx.sagepub.com/content/7/2/200.full.pdf+html) that describes each of these stages and what those stages can look like, especially in the writing world. The three different stages are defined as: Expectation, Disorientation, and Transition and Resolution. In these stages students expressed their feelings of motivation to perform and idolizing what working in the professional world will seem like. However, in other stages is students can become apprehensive as they try to define their position in the organization, which can also lead to frustration or conflict. The final stage that students undergo is where students begin to adapt to their new forms of knowledge and understand their roles, which can lead to rewards and responsibilites. Although all internships are unique, the article states that many, if not all, students pass by each of these stages, and therefore you are not alone.

Creativity is an important aspect that is constantly stressed upon in an internship or job. As a professional writing and rhetoric major, you think about how to address the task at hand, and also how to do this creatively. But sometimes that can become confusing, or even hard. Because you are not alone, it is important to bounce ideas off of your coworkers and also your surroundings. By understanding your audience, but also how the message will be perceived, will help your writing to achieve its utmost potential. Because you are not alone, you can help pick a part the brains of others to help you become more creative. But also, understand what works best for you. If you have writer’s block, or you are unsure of how to complete a task in a creative way, find what methods you can do that will help you pick your materials up and move forward.

Things will not go your way all the time. Sometimes we tend to forget that expression in a professional setting. We are not the only ones in control because we must answer to our supervisors and tend to their needs. Supervisors will not like all your work, even when you feel that you have tried your best. Sometimes they will ask you to revise and hand in a perfect new draft within a couple hours (but I have no time!) Sometimes you are unable to creatively think about how to present an idea. And many people have been there; sometimes you are just mentally drained from your workweek. All of these scenarios can (and might) happen. The most important thing is that you persevere and you find the positives in each situation, because there are always some lessons to be learned.

“The common expression is do not be afraid to fail, but we should flip that around and say do not be afraid to succeed.”- Matt Malone, Google Intern

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