Growing Pains

There are less than two weeks left in my internship with the March of Dimes. I think that means that this post, my final one, is supposed to be bittersweet and reflexive. I need to express my appreciation for the experience, evaluate my professional growth, and gracefully accept that my summer preview of professional life has come to an end.

But I don’t want to.

Yes, I have learned and grown and improved as a result of my internship. Two months of hands-on work at the March of Dimes have taught me a lot about the business aspect of the non-profit sector. Expert advice and endless practice have helped me understand the complexities of various forms of communication, from newsletters to cold calls.

That’s the problem. If this is what I’ve gained from two months of the experience, I keep thinking, what could I learn in four? When I started in May, I was afraid to seal an envelope without written instructions; just last week, I was put in charge of initiating a fundraising campaign for the Southeast division. Today I called thirty businesses to ask for silent auction donations, and while I was pleased with the number of positive responses, I still marvel at how the full-time staff makes business calls with ease and personality – and without a phone script.

I’m reluctant to leave the March of Dimes because, while I recognize the value of the past two months, I know there’s still a lot that I need to learn. The organization is already recruiting for the fall semester, though, looking for new interns that will bring their own unique talents and perspectives to the job. This makes my upcoming final day seem more official, but it’s reminded me that there can be other opportunities for me, too. If more practice and experience is what I crave, then I know what my next step should be: Round 2, anyone? I’m sure I won’t be the only one here searching for another internship during the coming year.

One comment

  1. I have had a similar experience at my internship. I have working as an account management intern at the Brownstein Group. When I first started, I felt like I needed my hand held when completing even the simplest task. As ad majors, internships allow us to work in an environment we talk about in courses extensively and yet when we are actually thrown into the mix of working at a real company, it is overwhelming in the beginning. I can relate to you being reluctant to leave March of Dimes. I have been at Brownstein since January and know I still have so much to learn from the people here. It goes to show how valuable internships really are.

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