UConn Office of Environmental Policy

Promoting sustainability at UConn

Getting An Internship Early

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I’m a current student at Uconn about to finish my sophomore year and by this summer I can proudly say that I have been an intern for an entire academic year.  As a freshman last year and even as a junior and senior in high school I’ve always been worried about getting real life experience before being thrown into the “real world.”  If you’re like me, you worry that though the knowledge you gain in a classroom may be useful, it won’t prepare you for a career.   That’s why when I got an email last year informing me about the opportunity for an internship, I didn’t hesitate to apply.  What did I have to lose?  I thought to myself, “If I get the job, awesome and if not, at least I’ll get useful experience with a real interview.”

Well a week later, after going to get help retouching my resume and worrying about how to write a proper cover letter, I had my interview.  I was nervous, but I just remembered to speak honestly and answer every question as fully as I could.  It must have worked because I got the job!  Not long after my excitement faded, and I started to get nervous about this new hurdle I was about to leap over.  I’d never had an office job before, I’d never even had a job before that required more than basic tasks.  I was concerned that the additional work would overwhelm me and that it would be a struggle to focus on my studies.  I’m not going to lie, I have struggled with some of these things, it isn’t always roses and sunshine, but what I’ve learned is this; anything worth having is worth working for and this experience has helped me grow in so many ways that I feel grateful to have been given this opportunity.

Getting an internship early was a great decision.  Most people don’t even try to get one until they are juniors or seniors which is fine in several cases, but it’s always good to get ahead of the curve. Now I don’t feel like I’m floundering trying to find something to boost my resume before I pursue a full on career.  I also have gained valuable experience in seemingly small tasks like improving my computer skills, learning to better coordinate with people I don’t know, office etiquette and more.  Overall my message is this; if you get the chance, definitely take on an internship even if you are only a freshman or sophomore.  You never know what good things can come of it and even if it doesn’t work out you still had the experience and maybe crossed something off your list for future career paths. So good luck, and go get ‘em!

Author: UConn OEP

The Office of Environmental Policy at the University of Connecticut brings together students, faculty, staff, and the community for a more environmentally sustainable campus.

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