Reality Check: My First Summer Internship
By Molly Blodgett
Summer Vacation. These two words have been one of my favorite pairings for as long as I can remember. The idea of being done with school work, staying up as late as I want and then subsequently sleeping in as late as I want, getting to hang out with friends without worrying about any responsibilities, and the hours spent by pools or at beaches trying constantly to achieve that “perfect” summer tan; quite literally everything about summer vacation would make me want to skip around outside with my arms spread out in a poorly recreated “Sound of Music” scene (a bit elaborate, I know, but I dare you to find someone who hates summer vacation). This summer however for the first time, none of these activities are at the top of my list. This summer I have an internship.
It’s not as though I’ve never had a summer job before, I had been a lifeguard for the previous two summers and had babysat numerous times, but this was distinctly different. For starters, I had to dress in business professional attire for my interviewing process. Getting dressed to be a lifeguard is similar to dressing as if you were going to lunch with some friends, and in my case I felt slightly overdressed even then. This time however it was business wear: you know pencil skirts, dresses, heels, blazers, the whole deal. The difference in wardrobe between the two positions made me feel as if I had been sucked into an episode of “Mad Men” when I looked in the mirror. As I left my dorm that morning for my interview, I ran into several of my friends while walking through campus. Each friend stopped me to say something along the lines of “You look so grown up!” or “You look like such a professional”. Neither of these statements really hit me until long after my interview was over. I was offered the internship, and then I started thinking.
I thought about how I had just finished my last year of living in a dorm, and now I would be living in off-campus housing with several friends. I thought about how I would be responsible for cooking all of my own meals, and making sure that my professional attire was ready for work the next day. I realized that my days would not be spent in a swimsuit working outside (and getting a fantastic tan might I add), but instead inside working in an office. I realized that hanging out with friends on boats and at the beach would have to be saved for after work and the weekends. I realized that I had entered a distinctly more adult period of my life than I had previously been in. When I was offered the internship I knew my life would transition somewhat, but it wasn’t until the summer began and I moved into my off-campus housing that I realized how big of a step this would be.
I would actually be living “on my own” now, although it was still with roommates, it was distinctly different than living in a dorm. I owned pots, pans, silverware, and glasses now. I had a full sized bed to sleep in, and I had professional clothes. I realized that the words “summer vacation” would now have a different definition forme, and that from this point on they probably always will. Given that most professional careers don’t stop for months in the summer, like they do in school, careers are continuous with a holiday or two here and there. However, I also realized that my internship opportunity is very exciting. Although I still feel a bit like I’m playing dress up when I get ready for work in the morning, I’m dressing up to learn and gain experience in a real world job. It’s these experiences that help to carry us on into the next stages of our adult lives. Don’t kid yourself though. I will without a doubt be spending all of my free time running around outside, arms outstretched with friends, smiling, laughing, and enjoying an amazing “summer vacation.”
Molly Blodgett is a sophomore in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Originally a Communication and Rhetorical Studies major through her freshman year here at Syracuse, upon taking GET courses she decided to transfer majors and is now working towards a degree in Information Management and Technology upon her graduating in May of 2014. Molly is also a member of the Syracuse University Ski Racing Club; as well as, a sister of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority at Syracuse.
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