July 9th is National Intern Appreciation Day
Since it is National Intern Appreciation day, I decided to write about my experience as an intern. Below are five tasks that I really hated doing, but learned more than I thought I would.
#1. Filing an extensive amount of papers
Have you ever been handed a stack of 500+ pieces of paper that needed to be filed?! I sure have. I dreaded it every single day, complaining to my co-worker throughout the whole process. Little did I know that those two years I spent in the filing cabinet would teach me about organization, and how crucial it is to organize everything you do. If an individual stays organized, they are completely eliminating the chance of something getting lost. This idea can apply to really any facet of your life such as, school, work, money, home, etc.
#2. Learning and using spreadsheets
This has been an ongoing task throughout my time as an intern. I spent a good portion of that time working on spreadsheets with all sorts of details. I always found this task to be tedious, and even sometimes annoying. It wasn’t until recently, in my computer class, that I realized how creating, managing, and editing those spreadsheets really paid off. When my class was assigned a spreadsheet lesson, I was ahead of everyone. The skills required in Excel, that they were learning, were skills I had acquired over the years. Being proficient with spreadsheets will help make your life easier when you permanently immerse yourself in career.
#3. Hunting for that perfect article
When I first began the process of ‘hunting for articles’, it took me a long time to find what I was looking for. I didn’t use proper key words, or I would use broad concepts instead of narrowing my search. As time progressed, I learned how to become a better researcher. Over time I learned what keywords to use, which websites were credible, and how to narrow my search, and still find what I want. Being able to efficiently research something, and find what you need in a reasonable amount of time, is a skillset you will use for the rest of your life. I would say I am a big promoter of research. I encourage everyone to expand their knowledge and exploration as much as possible.
#4. Designated note Taker
You might think after college that the extensive note taking stops, but it doesn’t. I was assigned the designated note taker in a majority of the meetings I attended. I remember after the first meeting I ever took notes for, I came out with 6 pages of notes. I wrote down every word that was spoken. As the years went on, to make this easier on myself, I created my very own shorthand. This has allowed me to become quicker at taking notes, and also to improve my retention of what I am taking notes on.
You can use this skill to your advantage, especially when in school. For example, you can sit in a lecture and write everything down, but 10 minutes later will you be able to summarize the key points of the lecture? Probably not. When you write every single thing down you tend to become more focused on writing then what is actually being said. It is possible to develop the skill of extracting and summarizing key points during a class or meeting. Practice does pays off.
#5. Interacting with customers
Talking to customers had to be one of the most valuable skills I learned as an intern. Initially, I was scared to get up in front of a random group of people, and try to talk to them about my company’s product. I remember being worried that they wouldn’t listen to me or that I would just ramble on. I hated doing this and I used to beg my coworkers to take my place. Eventually I became more comfortable, and it did become second nature to me. Public speaking and being able to interact with a group of people are skills that will help you excel in every aspect of your life. For me I found this most helpful when I had to take a public speaking class. My peers all dreaded going up in front of the class and giving a speech, but I had no problem doing it, due to my years of practice.
On National Intern Appreciation Day, I am reminded that many tasks, that seemed tedious, uninteresting, and even annoying at the time I did them, were in fact giving me valuable skills that would follow me into future work and life situations. So, please think twice about the tasks you are asked to do because I’d bet, based on my own experiences, that just about any task you’re asked to do as an intern can teach you so much more than you imagine. In honor of National Intern Appreciation Day, I encourage all interns to take a new approach and view of tedious tasks as a way to improve the future!
As Blogger and budget aficionado, Tara K. helps students across the country enhance their knowledge about money management and everyday life. She is constantly looking for new ideas to transform into great advice for you. Pursuing a journalism major, Tara K. has a passion for the art of inquiry, which is conveyed through her writing.