Discovering the Meaning of Opportunity as an Intern

Posted on Monday, Dec 09, 2019

Being an intern is not an easy thing. You do not get paid, you are often tasked with tedious jobs, and on top of that you are busy with trying to figure your life out. It’s easy to get frustrated and tired and let a big opportunity slip away. When I think of the linkage between the word intern and opportunity, some words come to mind: networking, job, money, stability, future. We can make these words what we want them to be but they all point to one thing: getting a job. At least, this was my mind set. During my time at D.C. I have been running around coffee to coffee, networking, sending in multiple job applications in a day and waiting as I often receive no reply or rejection letters saying “we are very impressed by your application but unfortunately cannot offer you a position”. It’s pretty frustrating to say the least. But instead of resorting to pity for myself, I have decided that its always better to be productive and learn. Here’s some things I’ve learned:

·         Networking is not about getting a job: Sure, a connection could lead to one but there is far more value in meeting with strangers who share similar interests and passions as you. Listen and learn. Be humble and ask lots of questions!

·         Tedious jobs are also valuable office skills: After being tasked with multiple excel sheets I now catch myself using excel sheets to organize my life more than a normal person would. You would be surprised by how many little details you can learn about excel.

·         Every experience is a learning experience: There have been some things in my internship that I have loved and some that I have not. The good news? Now I know what I am interested in and what I am not.

·         Financial awareness is a good skill to have: In College Station, we’re not used to spending so much. We can swipe an ID to get some food and can go to the movies for just $5. Living in an expensive city forces you to learn how to manage your money and find ways to have fun in free ways such as going to free museums or hanging out at the park.

So yes, the semester is coming to a close and my future remains a big question mark. Does this mean I missed a big opportunity? I choose to answer no. I have learned, I have grown and job or not, have developed into a better qualified candidate for whatever job, position or career path awaits. How will you choose to define opportunity?

Mariana Gama
Kyle House Group
Washington, D.C. | fall 2019