I’ve interned for three of the greatest places in the world. I had experiences that were once in a lifetime, like hugging Dolly Parton, seeing Arcade Fire soundcheck in a room with only 15 other people, seeing the lives of students change dramatically for Jesus, standing on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, standing in an elevator with Chris Martin, painting houses for underprivileged families in South Texas, printing setlists for Wilco, listening to Miranda Lambert list off her favorite country songs, praying for so many students and seeing their hopes and dreams actually happen, getting the chance to see how two of the biggest radio outlets and television shows in the world operate while I worked behind-the-scenes, gossiping about Ryan Gosling as he stood 5 feet in front of me, and at all three, laughing until I cried and learning so so much more than I could ever hope for.
I formed relationships at all three places that I am still maintaining and so grateful for.
Though the job market is a little rough right now, I’ve worked for free at all three and don’t regret that in the slightest. The days and hours I spent contributing to SiriusXM Satellite Radio Nashville, Austin City Limits TV and Kingwood First Baptist Church Students were all life-changing and marvelous.
Because of these experiences, I still consider myself an intern at heart. My work ethic is still excited, I am still anxious to take on new things and I still desire direction. But, you see, I don’t think being on the lowest end of a company or organization as an intern is a bad thing. It’s extremely humbling and can be hard, but it is so worth it.
However, because of still considering myself an intern, there’s still a few things I haven’t lost as habits yet.
Because I am an intern, I will promote your company till my fingers hurt. I will blog about you, talk about you, tweet about you, share you with others and say your name so many times that people think I am crazy. I will mention you like you’re my boyfriend and bring you up in situations. I will become “that girl” who is too into her job. However, I won’t really mind.
Because I am an intern, I will get you coffee. I know this is joked about and that this is looked down upon, but I don’t think you realize that in a world with a horrible job market and in wanting to serve you, I will get you some. I will ask how you take it, I will do my best to remember your order, I will try and get it to you as soon as possible. I will get you coffee because I know that the little things count. I know that caffeine is an important thing. I know from personal experience that it can change your whole workday.
Because I am an intern, I will ask questions. I WILL ASK SO MANY QUESTIONS. I will ask if I am doing things correctly. I will ask about protocols and hierarchy and if I can use the company fridge. I will ask about everything if I am unsure, and if I work up the courage, I will ask more than 1 person. Please do your best to answer my questions. Please?
Because I am an intern, I will stay late. I will not look at this as a horrible thing or as a bother, but rather, a privilege. I came to your company to get experience, and if that means more hours, I will take them on. In fact, most times, you’ll have to remind me to leave…
Because I am an intern, I will work for free. I’m not saying that this will be my favorite part, but I will come in and try to knock out the most work I can without a paycheck. Some days will be easier to handle this than others, but I will look at experience as my ultimate gain.
Because I am an intern, I will struggle with names, because I want to get every single one right. I will struggle with directions, but I will succeed. I will struggle with adapting and with feeling like I fit in, but ultimately, whether I do or not, I will focus on the task at hand.
Because I am an intern, I will make jokes about being young. I don’t mean this to be mean, I just find it funny to be the only 21 year-old sometimes, whether I am working with people older than me, or a youth group younger than me.
Because I am an intern, I will dress up for work. I know that you may have casual fridays and a lax policy on dress code, but I don’t think you know how long I have spent putting together the perfect ensemble to walk into your doors wearing. I want to look professional, I want to stand out in a way that is rememberable and commendable. Also, I may have rationalized that extra cardigan I bought or those “big girl” shoes by saying it was for “work.”
Because I am an intern, I will not want to leave when my time is up. I know it seems cheesy, but it’s true. I will have bad days and I will fail and look back at some things I did or said and cringe, but I will have established my tiny little place in your offices and I will miss it.
Because I am an intern, I will hope you know that I am grateful. I am grateful for your recommendation, for your advice and for you even taking the chance on me in the first place.
Because I am an intern, I will also be a little spoiled by having such great internships, but eventually a job will come along that will measure up. Til then, of course, I’ll be continuing to be a chaperone on KFBC retreats, continuing to convince everyone to get Satellite Radio and tune into the Highway and continuing to DVR Austin City Limits every Saturday night and watch every clip that surfaces online.
I mean, some things just never change.