Written by Amie Gant, Career Center Communication and Design Assistant, Bachelor of Science, Professional Writing.
This summer I completed my undergraduate internship as an assistant editor and graphic layout artist. I have noticed a positive change in myself after my experience; however, this change did not come easily.
Successful completion of this internship required a minimum of 135 hours of documented work. It was a summer of grueling hours spent sitting in a chair and giving myself migraines from focusing too hard on my laptop screen. My back and shoulders burned with fatigue, and my legs went numb more times than I could count. But, by the end of my internship, it was clear to me that I had learned several things I had not anticipated.
- I learned that I am capable of producing quality work on my own with little to no guidance. I have always had an instructor or a professor there to nudge me one way or another if I got stuck on a design, or if I didn’t know what to write. Since the majority of my internship was independent work, I had no one else to rely on but myself. At first, this was very intimidating, because I lacked confidence in my ability to design engaging, professional, and original work. As I pushed through my difficulties, my confidence grew until I was sure that with a little dedication, I could accomplish whatever project my internship supervisor gave me.
- I know without a doubt that I am in the correct career field. While I have always had a passion for writing, editing, and designing, there were times during my internship that I became frustrated with my computer and my projects. I was able to persevere through these rough moments until I began to see progress. Seeing this progress was worth every difficult moment. I loved seeing my work come together after long hours of struggle. My internship confirmed that I have made the right career choices. I proved that I am passionate about and capable in my career field.
- I proved that I am capable of managing a large project without guidance or encouragement. In my courses at Missouri State University, I have had large semester-long projects of similar difficulty and length as my internship projects. With my internship, the difference was not having my instructors and professors to act as a safety net. In class, my instructors and professors give me a timeline and project deadlines. They are there to encourage and enforce a proper working pace to eliminate procrastination. For my internship, it was all me. It was up to me to determine the rate at which I worked, how long I spent on each project, and how to best prioritize my focus. Without my courses at Missouri State University, I would not have known how to correctly manage my projects.
- I utilized every skillset I have learned in my courses at Missouri State University. I am sure this seems like a very bold statement, but it is true. This summer, I used everything I have learned in each of my major classes. This both surprised and encouraged me, for I never knew to what extent the information I learned in class would be used in a real-world situation. This summer, I discovered that even the classes I presumed to be unimportant were essential to my success. I had to muster every bit of wisdom my instructors and professors have instilled in me over the past several years. I am glad I did well in class and that I retained as much as I did. Had I not, I would not have been able to successfully complete my internship.
My internship experience has revitalized my motivation to continue to strive for excellence as I journey into my career field. I have grown and changed as a person and as a student. I have learned to think past my frustrations, to never stop trying until I am 100 percent happy with my work, and I have learned that I am perfectly capable of single-handedly producing professional, elegant designs.
Although I still have much to learn, after my undergraduate internship experience, I feel much more prepared for my future career. I highly encourage all students who are preparing for an internship to pay attention in every class, keep their text books handy, and enjoy their time as an intern because even though it is a fleeting experience, it can make a profound impression upon their personal, academic, and professional lives.