Should I do an internship?

The Guide To All Things Internships

Internships, especially in college, can be difficult to navigate but they are definitely important.

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For many college students, internships are a source of experience and field exposure before committing to a job. For students seeking graduate educations, internships are sources of experience hours and prerequisites for obtaining admission. Personally, I am planning to attend medical school after I complete my undergraduate degree. Gaining admission to medical school requires me to do a variety of things, but some of the experiences that will make my application stand out are internships.

This is an opportunity for me to show that I am interested and investing in the medical field before committing to four years of education and at least two years of residency. As valuable as internships are, they can also be confusing for many students.

One of the first things necessary to obtaining an internship is to actually look for one. If you are in high school, looking up local businesses you are interested in is one of the most effective ways to find opportunities. If you are in college, there are often clubs or offices dedicated to connecting students to opportunities both locally and globally. To find out about these opportunities, subscribing to a club's email list or announcements from an office is ideal.

Once you find an opportunity you are interested in, you should apply using the unique process for your particular position and company. Some companies ask candidates to submit a resume and cover letter, come in for an interview, or submit a portfolio. There are lots of resources online for how to create effective resumes and portfolios, as well as for practice interview questions and tips. Many universities have resources on-campus or online to help students be successful. These resources are meant to be used as guides, but ultimately you want to be original and authentic when applying for an internship.

Once receiving an internship offer, there are tons of questions about dress and responsibilities that come up for students. The ever elusive "business casual" dress code is a source of stress for many students. The best advice I have ever received is to dress like your supervisor does and make sure you are following all company policies. At my internship, this meant wearing dress pants and a blouse or a dress. Most companies have specific rules about things like jeans, so when in doubt, just ask! It is much better to ask your supervisor what is appropriate to dress in, rather than being embarrassed.

At every internship, the responsibilities will vary, but they are typically explained during the application process or during orientation. My responsibilities included greeting patients, checking them in for appointments, answering questions in-person and over the phone, calling patients, making coffee, making copies of documents, and conducting interviews. The responsibilities of an internship can seem menial, but getting coffee and answering phones are important for making an office run smoothly and learning work skills.

Internships are super great opportunities for gaining work experience and field exposure before committing yourself to a degree, graduate program, or job. Internships are also great opportunities to diversify your resume when applying for programs or jobs in the future. I think every student should complete an internship in a field they are interested in, even if they are not pursuing that field of study.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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