[This week, we’re hearing from our MAGIS co-editors Ester Sihite and Kelly Russell, both of which are on the East Coast for Summer Internships. Here’s Ester!]
Greetings from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (known out here as UMBC)! I arrived on June 5 on a squelching hot day, ready to embark on my internship to co-lead a summer bridge program for incoming freshmen and to begin somewhat of an adventure on the opposite coast of Seattle. Since then, in the past five weeks, I have experienced a number of unexpected happenings that have led to discoveries, laughs, frustrations and valuable lessons, some of which I now share with you.
Lesson 1: Whatever you are expecting to find at an internship or job, expect to experience the unexpected. Rarely anything in higher education goes exactly as planned. It’s best to remain adaptable – an incredibly useful skill to have in the nutty world of higher ed (and life in general so it seems)!
Lesson 2: Constantly learn. Ask questions. Research (yes, even for fun sometimes!). Take full use of the time you have to gather information and potentially make a difference. Seek more.
Lesson 3: Take the time to acknowledge and get to know people with whom you cross paths. You never know how they might impact your life in the future.
Lesson 4: Network: it’s not just a two-syllable word that sounds abstractly good… It can and does happen, with a little bit of effort on your part and the presence of people who are more than willing to help (for me it was Erin Swezey and a number of people at other institutions. Utilize any connections that you have.
Lesson 5: One of the best ways to learn if something is for you (i.e. a career choice) is simply to try it. There is nothing more informative than hands-on experience, where you live and breathe a role for a certain period of time.
Cheers from Baltimore.