Lessons To Live By
Five full weeks have passed since the first day of my internship, and just as I had hoped and anticipated, I am learning something new every day. I could go on and on about all the different lessons I have learned thus far in my experience with the Chamber, but for the sake of brevity, here are two lessons I have learned:
Lesson 1: Slow and steady wins the race.
I would definitely consider myself a hard worker, no matter the discipline. If I am going to do something, I am going to give it my all. However, my perspective on “hard work” has been challenged. I have never had a ‘real’ job and I’ve found that I have had to develop new skills to acclimate to the new pace of my internship. As a full-time student, I am used to completing projects with fairly short-term deadlines. The professor assigns a paper and you have two weeks to write it. With this internship, everything is much more spread out. Most of the projects I am working on actually continue after my internship has ended. Given this scope of the job, I have had adjust my mindset about what “hard work” means. I have become so comfortable with the idea that I must fully commit my time to a project until it has been completed for its deadline in order to consider my work diligent. However, I have now realized in my role as the Chamber intern, I must pace myself, contribute all that I can for the projects I can, and then trust the people I work with to carry it to the finish line.
As mentioned in my previous blog post, I have been working to market and promote the Bassmaster Elite fishing tournament. This project has certainly had the most influence on my new outlook on “hard work.” I jumped right into this project the morning of my very first day. At that point, the tournament was still over 10 weeks away. Feeling intimidated and uncomfortable, I was slightly reluctant when it came to working on this project. Flash forward to now, SO much has been done to promote the event and the campaign is going well. However, the event is still over a month away and I only have a few weeks left in my internship. Working with this timeline is what has helped gain me a new perspective on hard work. Rather than promptly writing a six-page paper and hoping for a 4.0, I was forced out of my comfort zone and pushed to work on a project, bit by bit. In the long run, learning this lesson will be extremely important for me. In ‘real’ life with ‘real’ jobs, things take time, and being able to cope with that is a crucial skill to have in order to be successful.
Lesson 2: Always accept the challenge.
Going into this internship I had a pretty good idea of what my job would entail. My role would be to promote tourism for the Chamber in order to help bring growth to the County. This has certainly been my main role; however, I have also been introduced to new, slightly unexpected, responsibilities. The Chamber recently took on a new full-time employee in the tourism and events sector of the organization. With this change, my role has shifted slightly. Some of the Bassmaster Elite and other event promotion tasks have been moved to her plate.
Recently, I have started working on two MarketNY grant applications for St. Lawrence County and for the Thousand Islands-Seaway Region. Before going into these projects, I was not familiar with the process, nor fully understood the capacity of the task. I was far from confident when I began and thus struggled to feel successful in my work. Learning more about the scope of the project, rather than bringing comfort, actually made the task a little more daunting. I began to realize that the grant application was highly important, and while I am not the final say on the document, my contribution was influential. It was at this point that I learned my second lesson. I wasn’t going to get anywhere with this project if I didn’t fully dive in. So… challenge accepted. I am still in the midst of the project and the deadline is still a few weeks away (see lesson 1), but I am now confident in my ability to make a meaningful contribution to the project. At the end of all this, I know that the struggle will have been well worth it and both applications will be successful.