Maria Chimes In: Episode 7 – Internship Reflections
This week on Maria Chimes In, co-host Kathryn Tam and I discussed internships, workplace behavior, and balancing a healthy lifestyle. As NYU graduates, we were bombarded by peers who sought internships from the very beginning, always seeking out the next opportunity with each passing semester. We too set out on ambitious journeys toward future careers — toward our future selves, and encountered some road bumps along the ways.
We discussed the positive and negative aspects of maintaining rigorous course loads while pursuing professional work as college freshmen. We were forced to make critical sacrifices along the way, choosing to develop ourselves by remaining committed and ambitious. Challenges in any internship environment arise — not feeling completely fulfilled, doing more administrative work than imagined, lack of compensation — but it’s important to take every challenge head on. We talked about confidence, the necessity to feel secure enough to talk to supervisors and express interest in the work being pursed. Internship opportunities will be all the more compelling when one is proactive, taking on opportunities presented, and seeking out others.
Internships are valuable opportunities to gain real world experience, and to learn appropriate workplace behavior. We recalled having to perform simple tasks, like answering a phone and transferring a call, and the unnecessary anxieties that accompanied. While normal at the onset of professional development, it is critical to acquire these basic skills early on, and to be confident going forward.
We gained greater insight from every experience — the good and the bad. Even when realizing a particular agency or industry is not the right fit, internships enable college students to realize what they do and do not want to pursue in the future — saving both time and disappointment post grad. These valuable opportunities provide the basis for the exploration, creativity, and maturity. Being taken out of one’s comfort zone early on paves the way for confidence later on.