Internships: A Learning Experience

By Rebecca Vicente

This past semester I held an extended internship position with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which as the title explains, is a cultural council serving the artistic and general communities of lower Manhattan. I gained a lot of experience with artist residencies and public programming, as well as festival administration, organizational branding and management, budgeting, and research.

However, many of the lessons I took away from this internship were things I never intended to learn going into it. The biggest one being time management. Learning to balance a part-time internship, and a five course class schedule, along with clubs and socialization, was difficult but indelibly worth it.

I also learned that no matter the internship, there will always be opportunities to grow and figure out things about yourself that you didn’t know before. Sometimes a coworker is annoying, sometimes the internship isn’t what you were expecting, sometimes the commute is hellish—but regardless of the challenges, there is a balance to strive for and an opportunity for learning through every obstacle. In the end, an internship is meant to be a learning opportunity; a chance to take the theoretical skills you’ve learned in academia and develop them through actualized experience.

Not every internship is great, but great things can come from any internship. Even if it’s simply learning that you never want to make coffee runs again. Some of most discouraging things about the internship process can be summarized as either not getting the internship, or not getting the experience that you were expecting. Yet both of those seemingly negative outcomes can be used to make better personal changes for the future. Apply smarter, and apply more efficiently. Use the resources around you (such as the Starr Career Development Center–shameless plug) to enhance your application, and always go into the process with an optimistic outlook. Finally, Godspeed fellow applicants, Godspeed.

Rebecca Vicente is a sophomore pursuing a CUNY B.A. in the self-designed field of Art Ethonomics. She is also a Baruch Dean’s Scholar and is interested in all forms of Art with a personal focus on graphic design and ceramics. Rebecca believes that any goal can be reached through discipline and passion. She looks forward to contributing to the quality and supportive atmosphere of the SCDC while encouraging students to achieve their full potential as a part of the Peers for Careers program.

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