This past summer I had an internship at a non-profit called Kids’ Meals. Eight weeks ago when I first began my internship, I was uncertain of what to expect. Being a communications intern, I was not sure what that would look like in the actual work setting. It was one thing to take classes about communication, but it was a whole other thing to actually put those skills into action in a work setting.
Before I embarked upon my internship adventure, I did what many other interns do (i think…). I googled “what to expect during your internship”, “what to wear for your summer internship”, and lastly scoured Pinterest for outfit ideas–hoping to find tidbits of information that would prepare me for my new job.
Well, what I learned is that every job/internship is different and one article or ten cannot necessarily prepare you for what you will experience. For example, many of the articles that I read declared that you should keep your outfits to a darker color scheme and be careful not to wear bright colors in the office. However, at Kids’ Meals, bright colors were accepted with open arms.
Working in a non-profit was an awesome experience. I did not realize how much of an impact working in this industry could have. Going to work did not just mean that I was getting paid and gaining experience, it meant that I was working so that children could be fed. That definitely got me up in the morning!
I think this whole idea of expectation vs. reality is true in many different aspects of life. One person’s experience can be totally different than another’s. In a much smaller scale example, I have some friends who absolutely hated high school school while I have other friends who loved it. Similarly, I have some friends whose summer jobs consisted primarily in a cubicle setting while I shared a small office with four other women. One day, we jammed to Taylor Swift when her music was released on Spotify. Another day, I rode in a van for six hours delivering sack lunches to kids in need, hearing heart-breaking stories from the driver and seeing convicting realities of the poverty in Houston. I definitely did not read that in any Pinterest article.
If I would have abided by my friends’ experiences or the articles I read, I would have felt extremely confused. But you see neither one of these experiences is better or worse, they are just different.
Like in life, none of us are the same–our preferences, experiences, interests, and perspectives are all different and unique to ourselves. It makes us who we are. Let’s encourage each other and see each other for the unique beauty that we posses rather than compare ourselves and our experiences to each other…