So long are the days of working a retail job, spending the summer as a camp counselor or going to the beach every day in the summer. The older we get, the more important it is to spend these three free summer months doing something "productive," "meaningful" and "helpful" towards your desired future career. Sitting in an office building all summer long may not seem like #SummerGoals, but I've learned so much in my 40-hours a week spent in my cubicle.
1. Working 8-5 is exhausting
I know we all dread taking 8 a.m. classes during the school year because that would mean waking up far too early. But I've woken up at 6 a.m. every single day this summer. And then been go-go-go all day. So all I've wanted to do every night is get in bed by 9 p.m. A lot of people have had retail, restaurant or on-campus jobs before, but nothing compares to working in an office building with long hours all summer long.
2. Learning to dress “business-casual” is difficult
Is this dress too short? Should I cover my shoulders? Is my shirt too wrinkled? When they say "casual Fridays," how casual does that really mean? All questions that have gone through my head at least once this summer - too often to admit. Here come the days of shopping at Talbots, White House Black Market, Loft and anywhere else that sells pencil skirts and white blouses.
3. You will meet people will ALL KINDS of distinct personalities
I have met some slackers, some overachievers, some crazies, and so much more. But honestly, it makes it feel like I'm living right out of a scene from "The Office." We all have different personalities for a reason and all of these people put together makes for a fun and exciting work environment.
4. You could waste hours just on email
While some colleges are infamous for sending out tons of emails to the student body about everything, nothing compares to the massive amounts of emails that are sent within the company. Being CCed on emails about upcoming projects, company-wide press releases, emails about a meeting being added to your calendar, emails about making sure to put your dishes in the dishwasher and so much more. Leave your desk for an hour and at least 10 emails will be there waiting for you.
5. You will make so many connections
There is no better place to network than in an corporate office. For the most part, everyone has each others' backs, which makes for a great place to embrace everyone's different skill sets, expand your web of connections and add hundreds of people on LinkedIn. One of these days, one of these many people will be there to help you.
6. You will learn what you are and aren’t passionate about
Working in a cubicle 8-5 isn't for everyone, but it's good to learn that now, as opposed to when you get your first job out of college. Some people think that they want to do one thing, but it isn't until you spend 3 months doing it before you realize it's not the path for you. Internships are a time to explore and discover all kinds of fields, helping you decide what you really want to do in life.
All in all, an internship really is a fun way to spend a summer. And I don't mean "fun" in the traditional way of spending time with friends all summer, lounging at the beach or relaxing, but these "grown-up" experiences will teach you a lot. The "real-world" is awaiting us, so we might as well get a headstart on what our futures will look like. And hey, being a mini-adult for the summer might not be so bad.