As you’ll recall, yesterday I posted Kristina’s thoughts on what classes she learned the most from in college. I know, you’re saying, “But isn’t every class a valuable use of my time?”
In reality, some classes will stick with you longer than others. Years from now you’ll be thankful for certain courses, and others won’t even be in your memory past finals week. We asked CBCampus ambassadors to share their most worthwhile educational experiences to help you make choices that will benefit you in the long run.
Tierny has a slightly different take ethan Kristin. Her best lessons came outside the classroom in the course of her internship, which is yet another reason you should take advantage of one if possible.
While a lot of my journalism classes at the University of Iowa have prepared me to enter the professional world, my most valuable experience, beyond any doubt, was my internship. The summer after my freshman year I began working for my hometown newspaper, The Monticello Express. At first, I didn’t know where to sit or stand–I always seemed to be in the way. The paper’s editor, sensing my hesitancy, sent me out with a camera and a reporter’s notebook. Everything came naturally after that. I began covering community events, taking pictures, doing interviews and writing stories. The payoff was remarkable; I got to see my work in print for the first time with my name on the byline.
But with the internship came great responsibility. I was in charge of meeting deadlines, contacting sources, generating story ideas and most importantly, being held accountable for my work. The classes at school had taught me the skills I needed to report and write, but my internship showed me what it took to be a professional journalist.
There was a substantial weight placed on my shoulders. Even though I was an intern, I was held responsible for what I wrote. In addition to my duties, I felt a drive to help produce dynamic content the community expected and deserved from our publication. It was not something I took lightly. My time at the Express showed me that delivering great journalism was never an easy task, but in the end, it was immensely rewarding.
Regardless of what field you enter upon graduation, you must strive to possess two important skills. Responsibility and accountability are what moves you from college-life into the real world. Displaying these two characteristics will take you from just another job applicant to a major contender for the employment opportunity. Companies value workers who take their job and responsibilities seriously. Being accountable for your actions is a great way to display your initiative.
An internship has the potential to teach you more than any classroom ever could and it gives you an edge on your résumé. Consider not only what you could do for an internship, but also what an internship could do for you.