Congratulations to our Diary of an Intern series’ student blog contributor, Maeghan Livingston! She completed her summer internship. Maeghan’s final posts are reflections on self discovery and experience as an intern. Maeghan will share what she learned about herself and the skills developed during the internship. Read her reflection in a 2-part series – Diary of an Intern: Self Discovery and Reflection.
Let’s read what Maeghan learned from her experience and the advice she gives to future interns. Wonderful advice and candid insights!
Thank you so much for sharing in my experience this summer! I hope that something I shared gave you some insight into my professional development and I also hope that you were encouraged to continue to pursue your own professional aspirations and passions!
In my previous post, I shared with you some ways that I developed and what I enjoyed most about my internship. Moving forward, there is so much more I want to learn about the education sector. Previous to this summer, I was settled on the idea of working in higher education and student affairs. After my experience, I am reminded that before I can help minority students in the university setting, some of them need help getting to college during their secondary education. The diversity training and conversations also got my attention. This summer, I will be spending time learning more about jobs in both levels of education and in specific areas of coursework; this research will help me decide where I will have the most to offer and where I personally be most fulfilled. Before going back to Wake Forest in August, I hope to have completed a vision board for my dorm room with my professional aspirations compiled so that I can be reminded of what I have learned and where I want to see myself in the upcoming year.
For those of you looking for internships, here are a few golden nuggets to take with you:
1. Start Early: Next summer may seem far away but it is never too early to begin researching opportunities! Talk to professionals in your areas of interest. Many times I would set up informal interviews with a professional in higher education to simply learn about what they do. Often, simply expressing genuine interest in someone’s work will open doors to opportunities. Our OPCD is so helpful! Talk to counselors there about your goals so that they can help you to prepare for interviews and review your resume! Finally, DEACONSOURCE. Our DeaconSource network is what landed me with this internship! In other words, use your resources and do the research!
2. Be open minded: Every opportunity has value, whether you think you will enjoy it or not. I created a month long job shadowing experience for myself during my freshman summer with the president of a local hospital; at the time I thought that I might want to go into health policy and administration. The summer was very informative. I was able to sit in on meetings with her vice presidents and see how she operated under many different hats. At the end of the summer, I thought to myself, “This is good, but where is the fire?” The experience showed me that my interest was not a passion. Lesson: There is something to learn from every experience.
3. Reflect: Reflection is the MOST important part of every experience. There is so much we miss in the moment and do not connect with until we are looking back. This blog was one way that I engaged in reflection, I also journal regularly. It is always fun to read old blog posts and journal entries because it helps me to measure my growth and keeps me focused on my goals.
I hope these tips help you as you search for and begin your internships! As always, thank you for sharing your time with me!
Blessings and best wishes,
Maeghan Livingston ’15 – Sociology major