Before You Choose a Career, Get an Internship!

For the most part, we get to try things out before making a decision. We test drive cars before we buy them. We visit houses in person before signing mortgages. We try on clothes before we add them to our wardrobes. 

The same can happen in our careers! I highly recommend taking an internship to decide if you’re in the right field. 

I started doing internships in high school. My school called them "Explorer’s Programs." I completed one at the Mint Museum, The Charlotte Observer, and Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. I gained valuable experience. I learned how to be a better writer, earned volunteer hours as a junior docent, learned about Charlotte art, self-defense, etiquette tips, and more.

The most important thing I learned was that I no longer wanted to go to school for journalism. Why? Because I was advised in high school, that within five years people wouldn't be reading newspapers and magazines. I couldn't believe my ears. I loved newspapers and magazines. I read them faithfully. This was pre-social media and WiFi. So the thought of not reading the news in print just didn't sit well with me. However, I kept it in mind and considered other options. 

Once I got to college it all made sense. Social media is where we find out about everything. By the time the news hits the stands we've already seen it through an app on our phones. 

As an undergrad, I gravitated more toward social media, event planning, and marketing. I also completed more internships where I learned more about radio, public relations, and digital marketing.

I landed in higher education, which ended up being a great fit. My journey to get here would have been more difficult had I not done those internships. Each one taught me something different that I will always remember and apply to my current and future jobs.

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Whether you’re in school or not I recommend doing an internship. Most programs are for college students but it won't hurt to ask. It's the best way to determine if what you think you want to do is actually what you want to. 

If you’d like to set up a resume workshop, mock interview or need advice on internships, please contact me

P.S. I don't have very many pictures. This was before smartphones. As you can see, I have a digital camera around my neck! :-)