Thursday, August 12, 2010

My internship at Peirce: Reflections and things learned

Hello again, it's Jasmine! Today is the last day of my internship at Peirce College, so I wanted to share my reflections on the experience. My journey as an intern here has been remarkable. I have learned so much from being here and from those around me. It was a pleasure to intern here at Peirce College and gain knowledge that I’ve never had before. I can honestly say this internship is something I will value for the rest of my life, and from it I will be able to encourage others to intern by sharing my meaningful experiences.

I learned that Peirce is a nontraditional college and its purpose is to serve working adults. Peirce specializes in Paralegal, Business Administration, and IT programs, with more new degree programs coming soon. The people at Peirce are dedicated to their work and to helping others achieve their goals. I also learned of Peirce’s values which are integrity, trust, respect, and professionalism. These are important because not only is it what Peirce expects of their employers but also their students.

Being here has made me realize the importance of many significant qualities that are mandatory at Peirce, especially professionalism. Professionalism deals with work ethic and how things should be handled in a business professional environment. Peirce honors professionalism and each and every individual is responsible for exercising this quality. My duty as an intern was to practice professionalism, however at first it was a foreign concept to me. As the internship progressed, I found myself feeling more comfortable and quickly adapted to displaying professionalism.

Throughout this experience, I not only learned about Peirce and others at Peirce but I learned about myself. This opportunity was not just about a paid internship for the summer, or being exposed to a “real” work place, but more about personal growth. As an intern, I was given tasks that required time management and responsibility in order to get things done efficiently. I had to recognize that I was being depended on by my team and it was my responsibility to push myself and stay motivated.

By agreeing to take on this position I was saying that I would do whatever was necessary to take advantage of opportunity, participate with hands-on experience and exposure, but more importantly make the most of my internship. It was my duty to stay committed even when I felt other things were more important or that I just didn't feel like being bothered.

During this internship, there was a lot of room for personal growth in many areas and an important area for me was independence. I have learned that you’re not always going to be able to depend on other people, in which case you need to step up to the plate and get it done yourself.

During my internship, I had a number of opportunities to meet with faculty and staff members of the college to speak with them. We spoke about things pertaining to their careers. For example: challenges, personal life, experimenting with career paths, life lessons, and more. From the people I met with I learned a series of different things, although they all still were closely related to one another.
  • Availability is important and should be a major quality shown by all people in the workforce. If you’re never available and aren’t flexible with your time, you’ll miss out on a lifetime worth of opportunities.
  • Integrity was also very significant because of its value which can be built through ones character, and can be reflected based on outward and inward appearances.“Under promise and over deliver.” This is a small statement with a big meaning. It conveys a great message to go above and beyond what is required because it makes a huge impact on others' perceptions of you. Being proactive is a key essential to being successful.
  • Putting yourself out there and not being afraid to take risks or selling yourself short is important.
  • Be open to all advice that comes your way as well as opportunities.
  • I learned the importance of the four P’s: establish good principles, always be passionate, have a plan, and give it purpose. But most of all give back. It’s important that I share with others all the information I gained from this journey.
Paying it forward is a good example of giving back. In order to learn and continue to grow you must split the roll of mentor and mentee. While some things might be a good teaching experience for you, they might be a good learning experience for someone else and vice versa. Sharing your personal experiences and how they’re valued with others can tremendously influence a person’s life. They can take what they have learned and share it with others. This paradigm of paying it forward will eventually create a ripple effect and the information passed from one person to another will grow.

Although my internship is coming to a conclusion, I hope to continue this process of growth and let what I have learned reflect through my words and actions. I now recognize the importance of an internship and the positive things it can do to for you.