Last Day to be an Intern

Tomorrow is officially my last day of being an intern…ever. Well, I hope ever. I guess we’ll see if that holds true if I decide to tackle another degree in the future (the thoughts of a Doctorate have flitted in and out of my mind throughout the past year). I’ll be wrapping up my internship with a few student appointments, cleaning out my office spaces (yes, spaces depending on the day of the week), and having a site visit with my faculty supervisor and site supervisor. It’ll be a busy day. Thankfully, the goodbyes will be postponed until next week when we have our end of the year/graduation celebration with all of our staff and student workers (undergrad & grad).

I want to do a full reflection/recap post once I’m “officially” done with both the position and the internship class. Until then, I do have a few revelations to share with you:

At this point in my career, I prefer working for a smaller public university. Smaller as in 10,000 to 15,000 for the student population. My internship at UW-Madison consisted of over 40,000 students for the whole campus with our college having around 17,000 students. However, how many grad students can say that they’ve worked for campuses with: 1500; 11,000; and 40,000+ student populations? This girl can. 🙂

I may never be an official Badger (on payroll or as a student), and I’ve come to learn, respect, embrace, and enjoy some the traditions that belong to this University. UW will always be part of my history and I love that.

I am so NOT a commuter. I didn’t totally hate the hour drive and I didn’t love it either. I prefer not to spend 2 hours of my day on road just to go between work and home. I’m stoked that my new “commute” is less than 5 miles!

As an intern, I felt connected to the people in the office and not always totally to everything our office had going on. I don’t know if that makes sense at all. Here’s a typical day: I come in, say hi to everyone, do some chit chatting, see students, lunch – maybe with someone or by myself (depending on the day), see more students, go home. That schedule didn’t leave a ton of time to be on any of the smaller committees in the office or to collaborate with other staffers on presentations or programming. It’s not that I didn’t want to, I did. I was just tied to the number of hours that I had to fulfill for my program internship (240 direct contact, 600 total). To be honest, most days were absolutely exhausting. It wasn’t all resumes with people going into accounting (which honestly would have been kind of easy). Plus, accounting is housed in a different college. Majority of my students were facing trying to figure out what on earth they were going to do with their lives once they earned their diploma in May. Plus, their majors didn’t always equate to a specific career. Try to figure out quickly exactly what to do with: International Studies; Biology; History; Communication Arts; Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies; Philosophy; Scandianvian Studies; Classics; Social Welfare; Women’s Studies; or Zoology. I promise you, I worked with all of these majors on multiple occasions (well, except the Scandianvian Studies). The College of Letters & Science at UW has over 70 majors and they all seem to require extra work to get an accurate picture of what someone can do for a career. Exhausting? Yes. Rewarding? Absolutely. This is what I love to do. I love working with students to figure out what career path, or pathes, will be best for them…and then I help them to figure out a plan of attack to be successful in the career path. This is what I get to do for the rest of my life. Yay!  

Most of all, I’m going to miss the people I’ve worked with on almost a daily basis for the past 9 months. They may not realize it, but they’ve all helped me grow tremendously this past year in some way or another. I feel ready to take on my new professional role as a career counselor in June.

Okay, so I guess I just did quite a bit of reflecting. I didn’t even go this in-depth with my final reflection paper for class. I’m sure more reflections will surface the closer I am to graduation. Speaking of graduation, it’s only 2 weeks away! I’m so excited!

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