An Impactful Internship

Hello to all that are reading- My name is KT and I am a Com Studies major and I am entering my junior year (2020 Fall). I have taken the following Com classes: 101,110,130,140,200,220,225,231 and today I am going to talk about a few experiences from Com 499. The summer internship I took was with Dr. Ferraro at a place called Camp Wakonda (and no it is not the Wakanda you are thinking of…it has an o!!). Anywho, for some background information, even though I did take this internship I am not the best equipped when it comes to being extroverted/outgoing, I like to stick with comfortable things that I know. Camp Wakonda has been a place I've known well before I took this internship. The directorthere (Pastor Ben) was the camp director when I was inkindergarten. There have been some changes in directors, but I kept going until I was old enough to work there (face-to-face) and that is what I did. Now at this time, as you might have noticed, people are not meeting face to face or meeting inside a lot due to Covid-19. So, most of the work I did was online and on the phone, (which in any situation proves to be a hassle when it comes to communicating properly). My task was to make brochures for the camp's labyrinth and in the end, I also made a website outline for the camp (also for the labyrinth). 

Interview tips learned and forgotten:  

In Com 140 you learn how to do interviews- for example, the interviewer should accustom themselves to the person they want to interview before they go to said interview. Also, keep in mind that the interviewee is spending their time with you, so you don’t want to waste time on find-able info online. Be sure to thank them and have a follow up to show that you don’t just want them for their information (even if thatit is the truth).  

I also learned from Dr. Cooper's class in 231 that if you bring a recorder when you end the interview session don’t turn the recorder off until you two part ways- keep it running because you might have a cool response or an extra question that pops up after your initial interview session.  

From all the courses, my takeaway is to just be respectful about your questions and respectful of the space and person. Now one thing I forgot to do in one of my interviews was look up the labyrinth builder's last name. Since I was already on the phone with Pastor Ben and the builder, I asked him with a reply from Pastor Ben “I could have told you that” …whoops! One positive thing that happened inthat interview though is at the end of my list of questions I asked the builder one last final question and his answer was what got put on the brochure.  

Plan ahead (good): 

During my time I planned out a schedule of what I wanted my internship time to be like. SincePastor Ben is more relaxed with scheduling, I drew up a mock-up schedule and shared it with him. Did I follow the initial schedule…? NOPE! But it made sure I had a goal in mind for each week. Even though this is not from my time at university, one of my high school friends and I made a motto when working together “Set the bar so low you can always find room for improvement.” Thhhaaat may not be the best kind of outlook on life buuuuutit’s gotten me this far!!! Anyways at the end of the internship, Pastor Ben thanked me for being organized and I got a view of reality versus expectations of myself. During this internship, I grew to find that I worked well with a timed goal for the week but I also stress myself out by thinking “I’m thinking about something else on the job.” For example, I would work with music and I would sometimes bop to the music….does this mean I am not working?!?! Shoulditcounttowards my time this week?!??!” So, dealing with that was a pain.   

Plan ahead (not so good): 

During this internship, I asked a past counselor to draw the camp's labyrinth. I went down to the camp for one day to take photos with Pastor Ben (of the labyrinth). Now since the labyrinth is in nature it was hard to distinguish how the labyrinth looked. When I was there, I did a quick sketch and sent that and the photos to the counselor. When I received their finished work, I realized that the design was a little bit off from the original. In this case, I failed to completely convey what the labyrinth looked like. I assumed sincethey have already been down at the camp this summer, theywould have already known how the labyrinth looked like from their own experience. I resolved this conflict by re-purposing their art for a finger labyrinth for the camp's onlineweb page. In this instance, I learned that the background context I had previously had about this person skewed my perception of how to go about telling them what I wanted to be drawn out. The fault was mine due to the inconsistent photos and my self-perceptions of what the labyrinth was.  

Overall, in the end taking an internship course, as our handbook says, is a learning experience. Taking an internship to just get the job/credit done will get you somewhere but if you also have the intent of growing from it, this course will give you a better insight into who you are and what you are comfortable/uncomfortable about.  

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