Gone are the days of the intern who runs around the office taking coffee orders, being sure to meticulously remember how many espresso shots were requested, who likes what kind of milk in there latte, and who is weird and drinks decaf. At my internship with a medical device company in Center Valley, PA, I am in on the action -- and I love it. Although I am not as knowledgable as the full-time employees around me, I am still asked for my opinions, ideas, and thoughts. And when corporate offsite events happen, I am invited...and they are usually awesome outings.
In mid-May, I was asked to travel with members of my Corporate & Medical Communications department to attend a National Leadership Meeting in Atlantic City, NJ. I got to meet managers and directors from all over the U.S. and experience what traveling for business is really all about. At Harrah’s casino, I had my own hotel room with a very nice bathroom, and I was getting paid to be there, which, to an intern, seems out of this world. But I was there to work of course. Part of the three-day long event consisted of a Monopoly-themed booth welcome party, in which different parts of the business set up booths, much like the color-coded Monopoly properties, and talked to employees about what they do. I was working the Social Media and Corporate Communications booth, and I facilitated both an iPad and camera operated photo booth as well as an employee raffle. I used my knowledge of DSLR cameras acquired through a Film and Video Arts class I took at Lycoming to both manage the photo booth and reassure my boss that any technical difficulties could be solved. As I was operating our booth, I was surrounded by executives socializing over drinks and chatting with employees at the booths, all while listening to a surprisingly good Bruce Springsteen cover band (he’s from the Jersey Shore, it made sense in the overall beach theme). It was ironic that both myself, a young 20-year-old, and my pregnant boss were surrounded by such an activity that the law and prenatal doctors do not allow.Anyway, I am just so thankful to the amazing people I work with who allowed me this experience. It’s so awesome to be an intern at a company that cares about allowing their interns to grow their network and to gain exposure to what life will be like as future business leaders. And I love that both Lycoming College, the College’s Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences, and my company care about professional development, and that the opportunities available to budding professionals can lead to someplace you would never expect. I never expected to be a 20-year old inside a casino on a business trip. But it happened, and I would highly recommend that all Lycoming College students actively seek out these internship experiences and always make the best of them. Sure, the coffee and copy girl/guy internships happen, but that’s not the norm. Keep your resume up to date, look at reviews from previous interns from websites such as Glassdoor, and be your best self in your interview. You’ll be surprised by the breadth of opportunity you’ll find available to you.