Internships: A Taste of the ‘Real World’


I’ve now been interning at the Indiana Chamber for four weeks. I’ve settled in, evidenced by the papers strewn across my desk, the calendar tacked to my cubicle marked with deadlines and meetings and the way I’ve found my daily routine when I’m at work. I can now even wake up at 6 a.m. (which I confess was an adjustment after my second-semester schedule of afternoon classes) without the same amount of incredulity that people do in fact do this every day.

Then again, that’s kind of the point of an internship. It’s answering that big question: Can I do this every day? Or, even better: Can I do this every day and be happy? It’s glimpsing the infamous “real world” and finding what you could wake up at 6 a.m. every day for.

This is my second internship, and though the nature of the work I’m doing here is very similar to what I did previously, I’ve realized that work environment is a significant factor for me — and probably most other people, as well. I’ve genuinely enjoyed being at the Chamber this past month and getting to know and learning from the great people in my department.

And I’ve learned a substantial amount already. I appreciate all of the constructive criticism and feedback I’ve received, and I know that it will be valuable to me in any career path that I choose after graduation.

I know that I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to do internships before I graduate next spring. Not only am I gaining practical experience, but I’m discovering different factors that I want in a future job. Additionally, I’m getting the chance to test my compatibility with a career field I’m interested in.

I think that’s what is so beneficial about internships. As someone who has previously struggled to lay out a clear post-graduation plan (except, of course, working hard to find a job of some sort), my internships have helped show me a viable option to pursue, one where I could come to work every day and derive a sense of accomplishment from what I’m doing. But had I not done any internships, I’m certain I would be feeling pretty lost standing on the cusp of my senior year.

All of that being said, I’m not yet halfway through this internship, and I’m excited for the experiences and learning that await.

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