“Opportunity is everywhere.” Yes, I know it is very cliché of me, but if I had to pick the most important lesson that I’ve taken away from my internship thus far that would be it. Plus, I just love cheesy quotes .
I’ve been at my internship for almost two months now and I’ve learned a lot about the business, but I’ve also learned a lot about myself through my projects. I’ve learned that you don’t have to be perfect. Making mistakes is how you learn, and what makes you successful is that you take away another lesson every time. It’s all part of the learning process. Plus, each mistake can open the door to another opportunity.
Networking is a very important opportunity that every intern should take advantage of because let’s be honest, while honing our skills is incredibly useful, most of us are also looking for ways to get a job after graduation. I’ve had several opportunities so far to do some networking and one was at a team-building Brewers game event. We had a group of people from three different offices, and it was a chance to meet people, learn more about what they do, and show them how involved our intern team is while having a fun time at a baseball game! It was nice to have some time to network in a very relaxed environment because it lightened the mood and the stress of expectations. I felt that I had a chance to practice my networking skills so that I can continue to make more contacts as I move through the business world.
Something else I’ve learned is that opportunities are all over the place and sometimes all you have to do is ask. Asking about more opportunities and taking a greater interest in the company is also a great way to show initiative . The graphic design intern/my other half, Karri Duerwachter, and I were talking about Pentair and came up with some social media ideas because it is such a huge trend in business right now. When I brought it up to my boss, he said yes almost instantly and got us started on the project right away. It felt great to know that I’m able to make a contribution to the company and that the internship is flexible to adjusting to my goals and ideas.
Another important tool that you should also think about utilizing are the people around you. In my experience so far, I’ve noticed that each person has something different to offer and something different that you can get involved in. My mentor, Silvia, has been checking in with me throughout my internship to make sure I’m getting the most out of my time with Pentair. I discussed wanting to get involved in some sort of trade-show or conference to learn more about another aspect of the company. The result was being able to attend the Milwaukee Water Council’s fourth annual Water Summit. It was great to see all of the different water companies in the area and what they are working to achieve.
I have been ecstatic with my internship and all the opportunities it has given me so far. Pentair really gives me the chance to dabble in many different areas of the business while letting me branch out on my own and take my own path from time to time as well. I have been able to do so much in just two months. With only one month left, I’m ready to continue to take advantage of every opportunity I have to develop my skills and further my professional development.
In case you missed it…
Other “Confessions” from June & July:
Leaping Into Internship (Ellen Hatfield)
Getting the Hang of Things (Jon McGuff)
The Heat Is On! (Allison Lindsey)