Confessions of a Summer Intern: What I Learned at My Summer Internship

As I’m writing this, I’m looking at the calendar and it’s finally starting to sink in that I have four days left at my summer internship. Four days! By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be on my way back to Wisconsin, a much changed person. I am hoping to sum up for you what I’ve learned from my summer internship. I won’t know the full effect of my summer for some time. Maybe Laura will let me write a follow-up post once I get it all figured out 🙂 . To start the process of reflection, I made a mind map just to get things down on paper. Here’s the result.

Ellen's Internship Mind Map

  • Adventure
  • Challenge: different school, different functional area, away from home for an extended period of time
  • It’s hard to find a good coffee place – when you do, hold on! (Absolutely fell in love with White House Coffee when it opened at the end of June.)
  • Lurking is Learning! (Especially online – read blogs, get on Twitter, etc.)
  • Worked on my photography skills
  • New Friends – I will miss them all!
  • Professional Development
  • Know Myself Better
  • Gumption
  • Independence
  • Chutzpa: My UWW boss said in an email this summer that I have this. It goes along with gumption.
  • Inspired
  • Questioning – in a good way, to expand my frame of reference
  • Connections: in-person, stronger with people back home, my own blog, Twitter, & Next Generation Student Affairs Blog (I’m now a contributor)
  • Thoughtful
  • Ready for graduation and to start my Student Affairs career (May 2011!!)
  • Even deeper appreciation for nature
  • Thankful
  • Fun!
  • Unable to be repeated…ever.
  • Relaxation: Destressed from the last two years of graduate school.
  • Willingness to take the leap into the unknown
  • Appreciative for the opportunity
  • It’s ALWAYS about the journey!
  • Too short!
  • Sad that it’s ending

That is what I have come up with so far. My experience is far from over though. I have a few projects to wrap up. I have to pack up my entire life, put it in my car and drive home. On my last night in La Grande, my office is throwing a BBQ for me as a way to say goodbye. It’ll be fun and at the same time hard. I was just getting into the groove and I’m not ready to say goodbye just yet. However, every destination reached is the starting point for a new journey.

Read Ellen’s Entire Summer Internship Journey:

  1. Meet Ellen Hatfield
  2. Leaping Into Internship

Other Summer Intern Confessions:

Jon McGuff:

Allison Lindsey:

Krista Wolfe:

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