Region 1 Internship Hacks

For the blog this week I have decided to write down some things I have found helpful throughout the summer. This is my first internship and will be the last one I complete before graduating from Iowa State in December. While I have had jobs in the past that have given me great experiences, there is something unique about internships and how they allow you to fully immerse yourself in the workplace. Here I have put together a list of things I have found helpful to ensure I get the most out of the Rising Star Internship program this summer!

1.) Have an open mind

As much as you plan ahead of time, there is always a chance that things may go off course. For example, when planning the curriculum for the Orange City and Sibley daycares there are times when we have extra time that we did not plan for. Having simple games in the back of your head is helpful so you don’t panic when there is extra time at the end of a lesson. Having an open mind allows you to not beat yourself up when something does not go as planned, and instead turn it into a learning experience. By having an open mind I was able to learn how to improvise and not become frustrated when plans don’t go as planned.

2.) Get to know the people you work with

At previous jobs I have only worked part-time because I was attending school. Moving to a different town for an internship and being fully immersed in the job comes with stronger work relationships. I have had more time to develop relationships and get to know the other interns and employees at extension. Putting in the effort to talk and get to know the other employees pays off because of the support system that you develop.

3.) Have a routine activity or hobby outside of work

While moving to a new town for work has many benefits, sometimes it can be hard to find activities outside of work to focus on. Having an activity separate from work is important for self-care and developing a routine. When we get back from long work days, I take the time to walk the trail near the dorm or go to the gym. Even just a quick trip to the grocery store gives my mind something else to focus on besides work. Having this time is important for self-care, so you can come back to work and feel ready to go again.

4.) Save time for reflection

With all the new connections and networking skills I have gained this summer, it is important to take time to understand how I will use this to benefit my future career. At the end of the day take an experience whether it is good or bad from the day and reflect on what you learned. For example, we planned a way to measure the success of the Beginner Gardener and PoP club programs by collecting data from participants. The ability to gather data and measure the success of a program is essential for any future project I will undertake. By reflecting on how I can use this skill set, I was able to gather ways that I can use this new information in my future. Taking this time to reflect is so important to get the most out of the internship experience!

Thanks for reading!

Maddie