Dear Future SLU PIC Intern
In writing this last post, I struggled to think of a way to fully capture the benefits of my experience at the SLC Chamber and with the SLU PIC program. So much has happened over the last nine weeks, how could I possibly wrap it all up? After some thought, I decided the best way to pass on everything I have learned and experienced is by sharing it with those who will follow in my footsteps. So, I write this post as a letter to the future SLU PIC interns: to give advice, to give guidance, and to hopefully give them the opportunity to make the best of their internship experience.
Dear Future SLU PIC Intern,
Congratulations, you got a job!
As you head into this nine week program, I have two pieces of advice. First, ask questions!! Your supervisors and colleagues want to help you learn. They understand that this should be a beneficial experience for you and will try their best to make it so. If you are ever unsure about a task or need advice on setting goals for a project, be sure to open up that conversation with those around you. In the end, this will be the best way to learn the most. My second piece of advice is to give it your all! You have to remember that the SLU PIC program is a two-way street. While you are at your placement to learn, grow, and have something to put on your resume, you are also there to do a job. These nonprofits need you as an intern to help with large projects and expand into the community. Be sure to keep these two notes in mind as the summer goes on, because it is important that both you and your placement are benefitting from this experience.
In hindsight, I have also realized that there is so much more to this program than the day-to-day work you do at your placement. While the projects you work on will be exciting and beneficial, this should not be the only new experience you gain. It is important that you embed yourself in the local community and take advantage of everything the North Country has to offer. Really push your boundaries and try something new every week. You might go for a hike, visit local stores, attend summer events, or head to the farmers’ market. Whatever it may be, I promise you will thank yourself at the end of the summer. This may be your best and only chance to break the SLU Bubble, so take the opportunity while you can.
Lastly, I would say the best thing you could do for yourself this summer is make friends and make connections. This might be with your fellow interns or with your colleagues, but building strong relationships during this experience is beyond important. Befriending the other interns will not only make your summer way more fun, but it will also make your internship easier. You will be able to share the ups and downs of your experiences and better understand the skills you are learning. It’s also important to make connections with the people you work with. Fostering a good rapport will certainly make your internship more enjoyable and beneficial, but it will also be good as you move into the future.
Overall the biggest takeaway is to just be confident with what you are doing. You were picked for this position for a reason, so just go for it! Learn and do as much as you can, and I promise you will not regret your experience.
Best of luck!