Many professionals have had the experience of interning during their college years. Completing an internship can have a formative effect on students and their soft skills. This summer, four college students had the opportunity to intern in a variety of departments at the Oshman Family JCC including Member Services, Camps, Aquatics and Human Resources. We asked our interns to reflect on their experiences and describe what they will take with them moving forward. Their insights offer a fresh perspective on the workplace or any team-oriented environment.
Here are the Top Five things they learned:
1. Know your calendar. “Throughout the summer, I worked on several projects, whether it was restructuring the JCC rewards program, working on member engagement or just doing some filing. One of the most useful skills I learned is how to manage my time and juggle several projects at the same time.” –Alex M., rising sophomore, Elon University
The interns emphasized the importance of keeping track of appointments and projects. It helped a lot when the deadline came rolling around!
2. Learn on the fly. “I learned to navigate the camp database and used it to run reports on a daily basis. I also learned valuable soft skills such as flexibility and adaptability to complement the hard skills I gained here at the OFJCC.” –Ariana S., rising sophomore, San Jose State University
Having to learn a lot of new tools may seem intimidating at first, but it’s doable. If you have the right attitude, you can pick up new software programs pretty quickly.
3. Do your research. “In Community Engagement, I got the chance to help organize the upcoming Day of Service on 9/11. I researched relevant organizations and then worked with the organizations to find a way to meet their needs on our Day of Service.” –Julia, rising sophomore, Amherst College
Research is about the process. You’re not necessarily going to find the right answer right away, and that’s ok—in fact, that’s part of the research process—sometimes you have to go down the wrong path so you can readjust and find the right path to the information you are seeking.
4. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. “This internship taught me the importance of being an advocate for my own work and perspective. I realized that my specific role within the organization gave me a unique perspective on what was going well and what was not. I felt empowered to speak up when I thought something was important. I learned to communicate with others to make sure our overall priorities were the same but also to trust my own firsthand experience to guide my day-to-day decision-making.” –Leah H., rising sophomore, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
5. And last but not least—have fun! An internship wouldn’t be an internship without some funny moments, but neither would the workplace. You learn that your coworkers are people too, so it’s important to enjoy the experience. It was a pleasure having the interns to bring an extra touch of millennial spirit to the OFJCC this summer.
Until next time!