From Couch Potato to Intern: How My First Internship Taught Me to Take Initiative
I was in my first year of my master's not really focused on what was happening around me when one day scrolling through Instagram I came across a mental health page. Much to my surprise, I saw a classmate on the post being appreciated for all the work she did for the organization. This got me into a rabbit hole of seeing what all my classmates were up to. And definitely not to my surprise, most if not all of them were and had been working, interning, or volunteering for a very long time. Some even started out in their Bachelor's program.
This somehow started ringing bells in my head. Loud bells. I was missing out, not doing anything, not learning enough, and not getting better. This jolted me awake and made me want to look out for opportunities. Your girl who usually spent the whole day reading, binge-watching series, and snacking on cookies was on a mission. A mission to get an internship. And she was going to come out successful for sure.
This mission was not an easy one. I did have to begin from nothing. Finding an internship at my level of no experience felt like a humongous task. And I was absolutely sure of my stand of not wanting to pay for an internship. The stubborn streak was showing as clear as day. In the process, I found something while looking around this website that posted internships. It looked interesting enough for me to apply. It included something about research and writing. Two things I believed I could handle on my own. My goal was to learn something new, anything that would add to my treasure trove of knowledge. After the application, it was only the waiting game I could play in my spare time.
Lo and behold. I actually got selected for the internship. Excitement would be an understatement to define what I felt at that moment. I began the internship with a newfound motivation that I barely felt for things in general. The sir started by explaining what I would be doing and what he expects out of me and thus began my first internship. Soon into the internship though I found out that the supervisor himself had not enough clarity on what I was supposed to do. I was given tasks to do with no explanation of how to do them. ‘Just get them done’ was the explanation I was given. With a new set of doubts and confusion, I began each day of my internship, having to figure out how to do what I was supposed to.
Slowly but surely I was able to do the tasks up to the mark. Three months were spent researching, reading, and writing content for a curriculum for the organization. The internship itself was something different, not what I expected it to be but also not something that was unwelcome in my hunt for internships. My first internship was not how I expected it to go but that’s life. Isn’t it? Maybe that was really the point of my internship - to teach me how to do things on my own.
As an adult defined by societal standards, I can confirm that life keeps throwing curveballs at you, even weird ones and you will wake up with doubts and confusion. It will keep you on your feet. Figuring this out will be one step at a time. Learning and growing as things come at you. At Least that’s what I learned from my first internship.