To Internship or Not to Internship...
This time last year, I was living the dream. I had gotten an internship in Washington D.C. through D.C. Internships (I will leave a link to their site at the end of this post if you would like to explore their programs) where I stayed for two months at George Washington University. My internship was working with inner city youth at a summer camp as a camp counselor. I got to ride the metro to work every day, and I had the weekends to myself. This is when I would fully explore the city, seeing every museum and monument I could (plus Georgetown had some AMAZING shopping). I got to see the Supreme Court in person, and I got to attend a briefing at the United States Capitol. This was an experience that I had only dreamed about; I never thought a small town girl such as myself could ever get this opportunity, but thanks to some financial aid, support, and a lot of prayers, we made it possible. I am thankful every day for this opportunity because it changed my life; because of this, I thought that I would impart some internship wisdom to all of you who are thinking of doing one.
The key piece of advice I can give you is to go out of your comfort zone. I will be honest with you, I have never travelled out of the country, or gone on huge expeditions by myself before. So, as you can imagine, living in Washington D.C. for two months on my own was a huge step for me. I’m glad I took that step though, because it gave me the confidence and self-assurance to know that I can do things on my own. If an internship choice seems a little intimidating to you or you think that you won’t get it, don’t let it scare you off. It is better to try and not get in than to not try at all. If you don’t try, you know you won’t get in (thank you Mom for always telling this to me). Now, if it’s in a war zone or anything equally as dangerous and you are uncomfortable, then by all means, don’t do it. As long as it is not physically or emotionally hurtful, go for it! As Norman Vincent Peale once quoted, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”
Going along with getting out of your comfort zone, think of your dream internship. Maybe it’s living in Washington D.C. like me, or helping to preserve the rainforest. Whatever it is, realize it and do everything in your power to make it happen. My Washington D.C. internship cost a lot of money, but I prayed over it and said, “If it’s meant to happen, it will”. I got extra scholarships from the institute and my family was able to scrounge up the rest. Don’t let little things like finances try to stop you. Like I said before, if it’s meant to happen, it will happen.
I hope this post inspires you to get out of your comfort zone as far as internships go. If you would like to learn more about my internship, go to www.dcinternships.org for more information.