Confessions of a Summer Intern: Seeing the Big Picture

It’s crazy to think that the end of summer is already here. It has flown by in a mess of meetings, projects and memories. I’ve had a great time at Pentair, and thankfully it’s not ending. I’ve been offered a great opportunity to stay with my internship through the fall semester.

As I look back on my summer, I realize I’ve learned many lessons throughout my three months with Pentair. I’ve learned some basics: that asking questions is the best training method, making mistakes is a part of the learning process, but most importantly, that no matter how ridiculously hectic and busy it gets, you need to take a moment to step back and see the big picture in order to take full advantage of your internship.

It’s easy once you get into the swing of things to let your duties and tasks consume you. You become so task-oriented that you can lose site of your goals and overall personal strategy. I know because it happened to me. I was focused on just doing things without thinking of the end objective. There are a couple of little things that I did which can help make sure you keep the focus on your goals.

I’ve been having weekly meetings with my internship mentor, Silvia Madrigal. We talk about how I’m keeping up with my projects, but we also talk about what I’m getting out of my internship and any other opportunities around that may help me get the most out of my stay. It’s a great chance to make sure that my work is benefiting the company, but also that the company is benefiting me. Even if your internship doesn’t have a designated mentor, you should find someone who is willing to take that extra time with you to focus on the goals each week.

We also had an opportunity to do some community service. We worked at Estabrook Park to help clear invasive plant species and pick up trash along the Milwaukee River. This was a great way for all of the interns to get together, do some good, and get out of our cubes. It helps us remember that there’s a bigger picture around us. There’s more than our cube, more than our department, and even more than our company. Keeping that in mind can help you balance yourself, see the big picture and impact of the work you’re doing both inside the office and out. It doesn’t hurt that you can have a lot of fun with a great group of people too 🙂 .

Pentair Interns 2010

Learning opportunities are bountiful in any internship as long as you take a chance to see the big picture. I’ve learned a great deal in my short time with Pentair, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to keep learning and growing with them this fall. I hope that everybody with an internship can be as lucky as I have been and can take away as much as I have. Real world experience is only one benefit of an internship. There’s so much you can do to reach other goals in personal development as well. So stay focused, have fun, and learn a lot.

Read Krista’s Entire Journey

  1. Meet Krista Wolfe
  2. Leap and the Net Will Appear

Other Summer Intern Confessions

Ellen Hatfield

Jon McGuff

Allison Lindsey