Finishing My First Internship and the Lessons I Learned

It’s official.

As of last Saturday, July 17, I am no longer an Events & Exhibits intern at the Missouri Botanical Garden. I was fortunate enough for them to allow me to stay through the summer in order to get additional experience working in special events. Though I wouldn’t ever want to leave MoBot–I could seriously work there the rest of  my life–I have taken away some valuable lessons that will stick with me for a long time.

  1. Self-Starting: I never realized the importance of being a self-starter until my supervisor, Chelsea, brought it to my attention.  I was aware of my skills and abilities through being involved on campus, yet when Chelsea wrote on my evaluation that I was a “self-starter,” I discovered how essential it is to be the one to take initiative–even if you’re at the bottom of the food chain.
  2. Leadership: As I just mentioned, it is sometimes essential to be the one to take initiative, regardless of where you stand in the hierarchy. There will be times when those in the higher positions are unable to be the one to step up and take control. It is at these moments that someone, anyone, needs to step up and say, “It’s time to make a change. And I’m going to be the advocate for it.
  3. You can’t like everyone, and not everyone will like you. Myers-Briggs, True Colors, StrengthsQuest; if everyone in your organization took all of these tests, you’d realize how different everyone truly is. Nobody will agree on everything all the time. Even if two people working on a project have complete opposite ideals, values and goals, that shouldn’t prevent them from getting things accomplished. If it means making that project their one common trait, it’s still better than wallowing over the preexisting personality conflicts.
  4. Work can be fun: This isn’t the early 20th century. People don’t go to school then go to work for jobs that will make the most money anymore. Our generation consists of people whom go to school and find jobs in what they love and are passionate about. So if we’re passionate about our jobs, that means we should love the work we do. It’s okay to have fun, as long as the work still gets finished.

As I continue on my path as a future public relations and events specialist, I am certain that I will learn more important lessons. Yet these will continue to stay fresh in my mind, and hopefully in yours, too.

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3 thoughts on “Finishing My First Internship and the Lessons I Learned

  1. I keep an internship blog as well–which is how I stumbled on yours. Funny, for my internship I actually wrote a story on the Henry Domke exhibit at MoBot that was installed in late May. Looks like it’s still a small world, even in wordpress world. I’m glad you found you’re experience rewarding.

  2. I’m the editorial intern at St. Louis Magazine. I spend my days writing when I’m lucky and entering data when it can’t be escaped.

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