For our blog this week we asked our summer interns what one skill or ability they think they’ve improved on since their internship commenced with us. See what they had to say below…
Throughout my summer with Nine13sports so far, I feel like I’ve learned three important aspects of career advancement/extension: networking, punctuality, and confidence. All three of these aspects are the intangible skills that I certainly never discovered before.
Working for a nonprofit organization, I’ve learned not only the importance of having connections everywhere you go, but I’ve also learned how to make those connections along the way. Two important rules of networking I’ve learned is that:
- There’s no such thing as a bad contact, and
- The worst someone can do is say no or not reply.
These two rules add an element of simplicity to networking that I hadn’t come to realize before and they make the entire vast concept of networking seem so much smaller and easier to tackle, one step at a time.
Easily the hardest part of the internship so far has been the second skill listed, which is punctuality. I’ve been commuting to the office and programming sites from Muncie all summer, and that adds a whole other element to the importance of punctuality. Living just over an hour from my job means I’ve learned to set at least two alarms (and deactivate the snooze button), leave at least 15 minutes before I “have” to, and I’ve learned while there’s nothing wrong with being early, there can be plenty wrong with being late.
Finally, the third and most important skill I’ve learned from my time with Nine13sports so far is confidence. In every job I’ve worked before, I’ve always sort of subconsciously adopted the mantra of “shut up and do what you’re told” throughout the first few months of a new position. However, I learned quickly with this internship that there simply isn’t enough time to have that mindset. Nine13sports has given me plenty of opportunity to come into my own through this internship, rather than being forced to sit in the back and absorb knowledge before having any chance of individual accomplishment. Having this opportunity with the organization has taught me a lot about having confidence in myself and in my capabilities in my every day work, which ensures that I put my best work forward without any delay.
I think the biggest skill I have improved on is taking lead on explaining our Kids Riding Bikes programs. Obviously, when I started I had no clue how to set up the bikes, trainers, or computers. By now, I am aware of what each part does and the importance of each. I also know how to properly set up the entire set if I were to be alone. So, I am glad that I have paid attention to the different types of equipment we use.
However, I am more proud that I know what to speak about when instructing the kids on our programs, and that I feel confident and comfortable doing it. Regardless of who I am partnered with, I believe that I can clearly get the instructions and safety measure across clearly to the kids. I think this is a result of me feeling comfortable here at Nine13 and knowing what I am capable of. I am someone who likes to be in charge, and so I pride myself in being in that leadership role and speaking clearly.
The skill that I believe that I have improved while being a part of the Nine13sports organization is my communication skills and the general running of the programs that we run. I wasn’t the best at these things at the beginning of the internship, but I made it a focal point of mine to improve in these areas. With the communication I mean in the way I talked to kids on site and giving them direction and guidance on what to do. At first, I was a little shy to talk and give direction because of course I didn’t know the program, so I didn’t feel confident enough. Now I know just about everything and can give the kids direction. I know how to set up and tear down with ease. I now understand how to handle technical issues if they arise and what can be done about them. I believe this has come from the experiences that I have come across so far. I hope to continue to learn new things as this internship progresses.