Growing Up: An Intern’s Perspective on the Real World

By Laura Baumann, Intern

Eight hours a day, 40 hours a week, 2,000 + hours a year- for the typical nine-to-fiver, that’s a lot of time spent at work. Many people in this world spend their day-to-day working at a place and in a job they don’t love. As a soon to be college senior I’m on the fast track to the real world and this means big decisions and big changes are on my horizon. As graduation approaches and reality sets in I often think about life once I receive that diploma. My professors are always talking about the importance of internships and the experiences they bring. True, internships add value to your resume but I believe there’s so much more to the intern experience than a reference or a line on your resume.

I’ve learned through various internships and after school jobs that finding something you love to do makes work seem less like work. My dad always says in order to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life; you have to first figure out what you don’t want. The more experiences you have in the workforce the more secure and confident you will become in your abilities. When you’re young it’s okay to take risks and test the waters, and internships allow students to get a feel for the team they could potentially work with. Internships enable you to see the company’s culture firsthand and determine if their values match your own.  I’ve also learned through my own experiences that it’s okay to fail. Sometimes failure opens the door to bigger and better opportunities and sometimes failure helps you discuss a skill or quality about yourself you never knew you possessed.

The journey to the “dream job” isn’t easy and often people associate large amounts of money with the perfect job. Yeah, everyone would love to make a lot of money, AND have a job that’s fulfilling but that’s often unrealistic. I’ve learned through my internship this summer that it’s your interests, your talents and your passion for the work that earn you the most success. In the PR world the more specialized your skills are the more you can market yourself as an expert, ultimately adding value to your agency or team. Your strengths and your interests are going to help you find your niche and ultimately lead you to success. First discover the things you’re good at then you can find the job that works best for you.

 

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