I am Here for a Good Time, not a Long Time

Posted on Thursday, Aug 02, 2018

                I think they call the summer I just experienced a “once in a lifetime experience.” Man do I hope they are wrong. My internship through the Public Policy Internship Program at Texas A&M University has been one of the most impactful learning experiences of my life, but I sure hope it isn’t the last of its kind. Instead I hope that this is just the beginning of a long season of learning and evolving into the best form of myself, also often referred to as an “adult.”
                The world is constantly changing and becoming more competitive and it is our responsibility to keep up with these changes. We aren’t always able to do this effectively, however, thankfully we are often presented with opportunities such as internships, study abroad trips, research, community service, seminars, and workshops, among others, that aid in our evolution and growth. These experiences help integrate our academic knowledge into experiences that have a profound impact on our future pathway. My internship with Centre international de formation europĂ©enne (CIFE) has absolutely been one of these experiences. I am getting closer and closer to reaching this “adult” status through three key attributes:
  1. Curiosity- my internship has allowed me to explore international affairs at a much deeper and primary level. I have been able to both refine my interests and expand my knowledge in my field. This internship experience has further solidified my future career path in international affairs.
  2. Independence- throughout the summer I have worked and explored Europe independently of so many of my comforts. The experiences that I have had outside of the classroom and work place this summer have increased my understanding of diversity through interactions with people from all around the world. This is not only beneficial to my development as a person (and adult) but also as a professional in the field of international affairs.
  3. Transfer of classroom knowledge- for the first time in my life I was able to apply my knowledge of international affairs into a professional setting. This experience has given me clarity for what to expect in a professional setting in my field.
Although my internship experience was short, just three months, the knowledge I gained throughout this experience will prove to be vital to my long-term success. These three key attributes, although not the sole aspects, have allowed me to have a greater ability to think critically, communicate effectively, work collaboratively, and serve the greater good of both Texas A&M and my respective field.  These learning experiences don’t have to be long in order to be effective. We can, and should, take advantage of all learning opportunities presented to us in order to truly become a life-long learner. So even though this has been the best experience of my life thus far, I am confident that as long as I continue to take advantage of these learning experiences I will continue to have amazing experiences throughout my life and by doing so I will work to ensure that “once in a lifetime experiences” don’t apply to me. After all, we are here for a good time not a long time.

Charlotte McDonald
Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE)
Berlin, Germany | summer 2018