9/25/08

Internships, Assignments and other school things I won't be involved with...

This has easily been the strangest fall ever. For one, I'm not going back to school. I vaguely remember not going to school for a year after undergrad, but that was spent looking into graduate school. It was nice, but I knew the calm wasn't permanent.

All this lack of going to school has made me think about school more often, ironically enough. This could also be due my just being hired by my alma mater Wayne State University. I sort of always thought of myself as a person who'd be most comfortable in academia. Academia, after all, has been very good to me, especially in the internship departments.

The first internship from the University of Michigan-Dearborn was something I couldn't have imagined: I wrote articles for the Detroit Red Wings. As with a majority of undergraduate internships, this one was unpaid. Yet, money couldn't buy that kind of experience. Even now, almost six years later, I still pinch myself. I am still struck by how awesome it is to write about something that you love.

At the end of my graduate degree, I hopped onto the staff of Southfield Public Library as an intern. I just wrapped up this internship last week. It was amazing. I met lifelong friends there, got the full library experience and beefed up my resume to aid in getting a good job. This was a paid internship, but let's face it: it was still an internship. Again, the payoff was in the experience.

After a few months of hunting for jobs (in Michigan, of all places), I started getting down on myself and my accomplishments. I wondered what the point of being involved in school was. I wondered if these internships were too amateur and weren't helping me. I wondered if I would have to turn to freelance writing. I wondered why the library world didn't have room for me. I waited for a sign as my anxiety mounted. I imagine I was practically unbearable for my colleagues at SPL, but they remained incredibly supportive.

Then my internships did the talking.

Within one week, I had been contacted by the Wings to cover opening night. Then I interviewed and snagged a position at West Bloomfield. Then I interviewed for a position at Wayne, which would become my current endeavor. Then the litigation consulting picked up. Some publishing consulting reared its head. There's even an archival possibility in the midst. It has been quite a ride.

So, although I started getting mopey, looking back I think I did a lot of things right. Perhaps my patience wasn't my strongest point, but the experience gained through internships and assistantships really pulled me through to the Promised Land (read, full time employment). My advice: get involved with school, find an internship and NETWORK. Frankly, nobody cares about your GPA.

1 comment:

Christine said...

True dat. Network, network, network. Volunteer, intern, be a pest if you have to.

Sounds busy but super fun!