An internship can be a looking glass into the big world of careers.
Internships provide direct, practical knowledge and experiences not found in expensive textbooks or in a traditional classroom setting. Internships can also provide excellent contacts, great references and unique portfolio materials to help get an edge in the job hunt.
After graduating high school, my mind was set on a career in law enforcement. I started taking classes at Monroe County Community College and got an internship at my local police department. Not only did it give me great insight into police work, it saved me a ton of cash because I quickly changed my major—being a cop wasn't for me.
That's the great thing about internships; they're just a nibble of the main dish. If you don't like the taste, you can order something else.
Soon after, I decided to start taking courses in my other great passion—writing. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, I sought out a second internship to see if writing would be a better fit. I didn't set my expectations too high after my last letdown, but I went for it anyway.
I accepted an internship at Monroe County Community College, where I am a student, writing press releases and articles for various college-published works in the marketing department. I really found myself enjoying the work I was doing. It was refreshing to finally feel like I found what I want to do for the rest of my life. To make sure, I applied for another communications internship. Since January, I have been writing for the Monroe Evening News, covering events and writing various articles.
If it wasn't for these internships, and the people I met and worked with along the way, I wouldn't be studying for a career in something I love: communication. Along with my two internships, I am the Web editor for The Agora, MCCC's student newspaper. It has been a challenge, but my portfolio is expanding and new opportunities have been opening up to me.
In the fall, I will be attending the University of Toledo to finish my bachelor's degree in communication. Soon after I will be taking my portfolio on the road to find a career doing what I love.
Internships were the key: One held up a mirror to show me that I did not look good in law enforcement blue—that police work and I were not a good fit. Another internship introduced me to a different man in the mirror, one that enjoyed writing and did it well. Together, they helped me discover a stimulating and fulfilling way to spend my life.