A Summer of Learning

My Eastern Oregon University internship has been done for a week. It’s hard to realize that it has been that long already. I spent most of the last week on the road traveling from Oregon to Wisconsin by car. If you want an adventure, try doing that trip on your own. All went well, thankfully. It’s kind of fun to say that I drove through 4 mountain ranges in Rockies in one day…on my own.

The last week of my internship flew by in a blur. I was able to tidy up each of my projects and hand them off to their respective people. I completed the second round of edits to the Student Code of Conduct, entered several forms into OrgSync for the Center for Student Involvement office and completed a few last minute mini research projects for various people. I find it funny that the only day during my internship that I stayed late, was my last day on the job. I offered my help to our student worker who was doing a massive amount of filing that went conjunction with the room assignments that were happening that week.

My last night in La Grande was capped off with a BBQ at a co-worker’s house. It was nice to see everyone that I worked with during the summer one last time in a non-work setting. I will genuinely miss everyone I met, and worked with, this summer. I could not have asked for a better division to spend two months with.

During my last week, I had somewhat of an “exit interview” with my supervisor. She asked me a variety of questions. Some questions were about my learning and others were in regards to what could be done differently if they have an intern in the future. My learning was vast and ventured far outside the walls of the office. The two biggest items I am taking away from this internship are: independence and connection. On the surface, those two concepts are seemingly opposite of the each other. I considered myself a fairly independent person going into this experience. I think it is now a firmly solidified staple of my life. I know that I can go somewhere completely foreign to me and be ok. I know I’ll be okay, because of the ability to create connections with others and to form a support system for myself. Connection can come in several forms. Those forms can be: in-person, phone, email, Skype, blogging, Twitter, etc. All of those forms of connection create support, wherever you are physically. Having stronger senses of independence and connection will bode well for me in the future as I approach the student affairs job search this coming year.

One of my favorite opportunities I partook in this summer was contributing to UW-Whitewater’s Internship Blog. My co-worker Laura came up with the idea of “Confessions of a Summer Intern” as her series for the summer. The series featured 4 students participating in various internships. I did a somewhat different take for reflecting upon the summer. You should check it out. The series was a nice way to reflect upon my summer experience, for a different audience. I was thinking about undergrad students and other grad students who might be reading and hoping that my experiences will help them to decide to complete an internship during their educational careers.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for the moment. I hope that you’ve enjoyed coming along the ride for my summer internship. I have definitely enjoyed writing about the experience each week. I have a little over a week off from everything work or school related. Soon, I’ll start up my graduate assistantship again at UW-Whitewater. A couple weeks after that, I will be starting training for my UW-Madison internship. Let the wild ride of the next academic year begin! Did I mention that I’ll have class two nights a week too during fall semester? I am making myself tired just writing about it all. 🙂 Even though the next year will be extremely busy, I will be writing here about it all. I hope to continue developing my blog and adding some personal pieces as well; especially as my loves of photography and travel continue to grow.

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