“Everyone, say hello to the new intern and introduce yourself.”
It feels like the first day of school all over again. It is the night before and you are planning your outfit, imagining all the different ways this could go. “Will everyone treat me like I am a kid or an equal? Do I address them as mister or miss? Or just by their first name?” These are all the thoughts that run through your mind as you begin your new journey.
You’re overthinking. Don’t get me wrong: It feels like the first day of school, but it’s all nerves. So, relax. As the days go on, others around the office will introduce themselves. You will soon figure your way around and no one will be able to distinguish you from being an intern or full-time employee unless they look closely at your badge.
My name is Hannah McCall, and this is my second year interning with the City of Houston through the Hire Houston Youth program. This year, I am working with the Human Resources Department’s communications division. For this to be my second time with the program, you could say that I do enjoy it.
My experience both times has been filled with knowledge and creativity. It is nothing like I would have thought. Usually when people hear “City of Houston,” you begin to think of government officials, seriousness, all work, and no play.
“How does it feel being an intern?”
Being an intern feels no different than being an employee in some ways. No one treats me differently. Honestly, I feel like my department trusts me and gives me a lot of opportunities to learn, grow and experience new things. I can step outside of my comfort zone, and everyone cheers me on. Sometimes you can get inside of your head and not give yourself enough credit because you are “just an intern.”
When I begin to second-guess myself, they will ask me, “What are your reservations about this?” or, “You should try it, if it doesn’t work, so what? We can try again or do something different.” That alone makes me change my mind and say, “You’re right, I’ll try it.” More times than not, the results are just fine.
“What advice would you give to other interns?”
The advice I would give to other interns is that it’s just that — an internship. The point is to try out different things and see what you enjoy. Please do not take it so seriously. Step outside of the box, try something new, and speak up. You might be the youngest there or the newest, but don’t let that silence you. Do not be scared to make mistakes; more times than not the mistake is fixable. Lastly, have enough confidence in yourself because if you don’t then no one else will.
“What do you enjoy about the internship?”
What I enjoy about the internship is how welcoming everyone is. No one singles me out; they include me in a lot of things. Everyone speaks whenever you walk by. A simple “hello” or “good morning” makes a difference.
Also, no one micromanages me; they just let me be. That is extremely important to me in any job because I do not want to be treated like a child. If someone feels the need to micromanage you, they feel as though you cannot do the job at hand. For the most part, everyone is relaxed and to themselves. When it’s time to go to work, I do not dread going, like how many other people feel about their job. Those are the things that make me want to continue to come back.
“What do you not like about the internship?”
The only thing I don’t like is the rate of pay, but at least I am getting paid. You can look beyond that when you get to do something that you enjoy. Sometimes you just must be grateful because interns sometimes do not get paid at all. The pros outweigh the cons in this situation. Other than that, my experience has been nothing short of enjoyable, and I would do it again.