Transitioning Out Of An Internship

By Christine Pitts
@cpitts_

This past semester I had my first field experiences as a graduate student. I interned with the Educational Opportunity Fund at my local community college and it turned into an experience that I will never forget. As the semester comes to an end, so does my first field experience, which is a very emotional time. As I look back on these past three and a half months I cannot believe how much I have learned in such a short period of time. I was very lucky to have a wonderful supervisor and support staff that helped me along. Thus, transitioning out of this internship is a bit difficult.

Here are some tips to help you transition out of your any of your experiences:

1. Reflect – This is a word we all hear far too often in student affairs graduate school, but it is such a useful tool. For my experiences this semester we were required to keep a weekly journal of our experiences within out internships. At the end of the semester we had to reflect on our experiences as a whole. I remember how scared and nervous I was upon entering my internship. Reflecting on how far I have come has given me confidence in my abilities as a professional. Furthermore, reflection allowed me to see how much I learned from actually working, how much I put theory into practice and how beneficial the whole experiences was.

2. Communication – Not only are you losing your time as an intern, the office you were in is now losing a colleague. Relationships have been formed. Talking about leaving is important. Talk with your supervisor (reflect on your experiences with him). Even reminiscing with other colleagues in your office is important. Chances are if the transition is hard for you, it is difficult for them too.

3. Give thanks – Your colleagues have spent the last three and a half months being indirect teachers for you. They have taught you things you can never learn in the classroom. They have assisted you in putting theory into practices. They have helped you conquer your first big project as a professional. Thank them. However you like to express your thanks. Be creative if you’re creative; be funny if you’re funny. For me it is thank you cards and munchkins! I am best with written words, but that’s me. Be yourself. 

Student Affairs - the First Years

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3 comments :

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