At my internship at the Ohio History Connection, I worked in the Human Resources and Volunteer office. One of my main duties was to seek out donations for Volunteer Week so that my boss, the manager of the Volunteer office, had something nice to give the volunteers each day of that week. My other major activity was to find entertainment and food options for the end of the year Volunteer Appreciation Banquet. I looked up social events so the volunteers had options to do something outside of their volunteering jobs. I also did some filing off the computer and data entry on the computer.
Before doing my internship I didn’t have any first hand experience working in the Human Resources field. I assumed that I would enjoy working in any office job. My thought process was that I would be content in any office position because I enjoy stability and low stress environments. This internship was an office job and low stress; there were no competitive employees, in fact I just shared one room with my supervisor. However, while completing my STEP Project, I learned a lot about myself and what I need in a career. I now know that I need to be around other people while I’m at a job. My internship was 10 – 3 and I had work to do everyday but I found myself getting antsy.
One key interaction and relationship that I encountered in my internship led to this realization. I only had one other person in the room – my supervisor – to talk to and bounce ideas off of. I found myself comparing it to the job I have at the Union, where I work with other students. I had this job over the summer as well. We get a great amount of work done but we do it while talking and feeding off each other’s energy. I never thought of myself as someone who needed many people around me but I now realize that I do need people around me to keep me going during the work day. The only time that I got to see other people during my internship was during lunch breaks. I didn’t get to really build a relationship with anyone other than my supervisor because we were only in her office for a majority of the day. This is important because now I know another requirement of my future career.
During my internship I had the opportunity to experience a whole new work environment. I experienced a commute that was about 10 to 15 minutes by car, which I have never had to do before to get to a job. Before my internship in college, I had only worked and volunteered on campus, which is only maximum a 10 or 15 minute walk. My previous internship was only a 10 minute bus ride away. The car commute was very different and not something that I thought would be a hassle. With the Ohio State Fair and other things blocking the roadway to my internship, I had to find ways to get around it. I’ve learned that the commute is something that I have to take into consideration.
STEP also helped me with rent. This summer was the first summer that I stayed in Columbus and additionally, the first summer that I stayed with my 5 roommates not during the school year. This was another aspect of my life that was really altered. Firstly, I came to the realization that Columbus is somewhere that I could see myself living long term. Secondly, I realized that as long as I pick the right people to live with, I am perfectly fine, and ever prefer living with roommates. This was something that really surprised me.
Some of the activities that led to this transformation was all the events that happened in Columbus over the summer. I have always enjoyed the events that happen at Ohio State on campus during the school year and make an effort to go. But the events in Columbus made me realize that I can have that experience in a city as well and I don’t have to stop going to events when I graduate. In this way, I realized that a city can have just as much to offer. This development is valuable because now I know what kind of place I would like to live in. Before this summer I thought I would be happy living in a suburb even if it wasn’t close to a city. Now I know I need to live in a place, possibly still a suburb, that that has cultural activities and fun events to attend, at least while I’m in my 20s.
On the roommate side of things, I have always seen myself as an introvert and I was initially concerned that I would be overwhelmed by the amount of people living with me. I wasn’t overwhelmed during the school year but I was worried because during the summer we didn’t have classes and clubs to go to. However, I found myself really loving living with my roommates during the summer as well. Even though we all had different schedules, we found time to talk with each other in the evenings. I realized that roommates are an experience that I wouldn’t want to go without. Now I think I actually would prefer living with a friend as a roommate rather than alone, because I would like someone to come home to and talk with in the evenings. This was really significant in my personal life and future plans because now I know what kind of living plans I prefer. Before I thought I would like to live alone.