The Privilege of Being an Intern
Two summers ago I started my job search for my first “big girl” job. This job would be my first step into the Human Resources industry. I only had one year left in school before I would obtain my Bachelors of Commerce degree, specializing in Human Resources and Marketing. Throughout my job search, I came up empty handed. I went in for interviews, but didn’t hear back. As the summer came to an end, something clicked, and I knew what the problem was.
As much as I hate to admit to this, I must say I had a huge sense of entitlement because I was qualified. Or more like, I thought I was qualified. During my job search, I subconsciously skipped over all the smaller companies because I wanted to work for the biggest and greatest organizations. I didn’t even bother to look at internship opportunities because I felt I was overqualified. Internships have a bad reputation of being unpaid and invaluable. I let that myth control my mind and feed into my sense of entitlement. That was the problem. I was stuck in a bubble of entitlement and I was closed off to what I believed I deserved. However, the moment I stopped feeling entitled was the moment I allowed myself to create and uncover new possibilities.
I started job searching again, but this time with a clear and realistic mind. I didn’t allow my old thoughts or opinions of others to get in my way. I started looking for a role that I was actually qualified for, which was an HR internship. That’s when I stumbled upon the People Team Intern role at Kit and Ace. Kit and Ace was a brand new company, but it didn’t matter because my values aligned with those of the company. After a few rounds of interviews, I got the call that changed my life. I got the job!... My first “big girl” job!
Before I knew it, I was at the office surrounded by these talented HR professionals that I’m lucky enough to call my colleagues. That was when I realized how much I didn’t know, but it made me that much more eager to want to learn. My colleagues were so patient and so willing to teach me. They shared with me their brightest moments and their worst experiences. That’s when it dawned on me that being an intern is nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, it is a privilege to be an intern.
Being an intern is the time for you to be open minded, to be curious, to learn about yourself, to discover, to challenge yourself, and to grow. Those were the elements I kept in mind throughout my internship and it kept me on my toes. Everyday I went into the office feeling energized and ready to make an impact. As an intern, I also learned to not be afraid to try or to experiment. At the end of the day, you cannot rely on others to make things happen for you. You need to take the initiative to make things happen for yourself.
Even though I’ve transitioned from an internship role to a permanent employee, I am still as curious as I was when I was an intern. The curiosity and willingness to learn of an intern are traits that I find are essential to have in order to grow and to advance. As you move up into more senior roles, these traits will push your limits and ensure you continue to want to learn.
So my biggest takeaway is: lose the sense of entitlement and always have the heart of an intern.