At Doc Wayne Youth Services, interns play a variety of important roles on our team. Doc Wayne interns past and present put together a helpful tip sheet to share with others as they navigate their new and exciting experiences.
In this day and age, it seems as if internships are necessary in order to secure jobs upon graduating from college. Students are moving towards entering their chosen work fields early to gain experience. In fact, many schools require students to complete at least one internship before graduation. Although this may seem daunting to young college students, here are a few tips for a successful internship.
- Research the company or organization before you step foot in the office. Not only will this help you transition more quickly, but your co-workers will be pleased that you are invested in your work and know what the organization is all about.
- Be Professional. Always act in a professional manner while at your internship. Follow the dress code and always complete tasks assigned to you. By practicing professionalism during your internship, you will form strong work habits for future jobs.
- It is okay to make a mistake. Do not be afraid to make a mistake. Always do your best, but mistakes are bound to happen while you are learning. If you make a mistake, use it as an opportunity to learn from it.
Doc Wayne Clinical and Non-Profit Management Interns: Fall 2015
- Ask questions. If you are confused about a project, email, meeting, etc. ask someone for help. It is better to reach out and have your question answered. If there is a meeting you want to attend or a project you want to work on, speak up and ask your supervisor. Remember you are an intern. You are there to learn and are not expected to know everything.
- Be willing to learn new things. Internships are learning opportunities to help you further develop skills and prepare for future jobs. If you are interested in learning about a new program on the computer or trying something new, ask your supervisor. Be proactive and see if your supervisor needs help with a project. Your supervisors are there to help you learn, so make the most of your internship.
- Get to know your co-workers. Even though you are only working for the length of an internship, you have plenty of time to get to know the people working around you. Eat lunch with them. Ask questions about their careers. You can learn from people’s experiences and form strong connections that will help you network going forward.
- Record all of the work that you complete. Chances are that you will be doing a lot of different projects throughout the internship, so make a document to keep track of everything. That way, if a future employer asks what your internship entailed, you will be able to give them specific examples.
- Make the most out of your internship. This is a learning experience for you to develop a better understanding of your field. Don’t be afraid to speak up in meetings if you have an idea or ask questions if you are unclear of something. Take advantage of every opportunity you are given. You never know how it could help you in the future.
- Tim McGraw said it perfectly… Always stay humble and kind. Treat others the way you want to be treated. This is probably the easiest tip, but also one of the most important.
And finally, remember that this is just an internship. It is not the only job that you will have in your lifetime. Give the internship your full effort for however long you are placed. At the end of your experience, reflect on the positives and negatives, so that the next internship/ job you have will be even more aligned with your interests.
For more information on Doc Wayne please visit www.docwayne.org or follow us @DocWayneDtG. To inquire about our internship program contact Rebekah Roulier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To follow up on Rebekah’s post about Doc Wayne’s recognition at the European Youth and Sport Forum 2012 (EYSF 2012), I would like to take the opportunity to share my reflections and impressions about the event after returning home and digesting the experience. Although I am a new intern with Doc Wayne, circumstances were such that I had the privilege of representing the organization at this event held the last week of November in Larnaca, Cyprus. As Rebekah indicated, the forum was organized with the support of the European Commission and the European Youth Foundation as well as the International Sport and Culture Association (a global rather than Europe-wide organization) and the European Non-Governmental Sports Organization. Although such a laundry list of partners might seem a bit convoluted, it emphasizes the fact that a profound interest exists in sport-based youth development among a wide variety of influential, high-level stakeholders.
Looking back on an exciting week, I bring two main realizations home with me that should help “fill the tank” of Doc Wayners moving forward. Firstly, attending this forum emphasized the fact that Doc Wayne is in good global company when it comes to recognizing and acting on the the power of sport as a vehicle for positive change in the lives of young people. It was energizing to meet and interact with the representatives of diverse organizations from more than 20 countries including university ‘sport & development’ programs, non-profit and non-governmental organizations who are working in so many different ways to do their own good in diverse local and national contexts. While many of these groups and programs face the same practical challenges and limitations that Doc Wayne does, we should all take heart from understanding that belief in the power of sport and physical activity in contributing to the healthy, holistic development of young people has never been stronger or more widespread and that it is growing more so everyday.
Secondly, while we at Doc Wayne should internalize this sense of solidarity drawn from EYSF 2012, an even more relevant take-away should be confirmation of the unique and innovative contribution that Doc Wayne makes to sports-based youth development. As Rebekah has indicated, Doc Wayne’s “Do the Good” curriculum was short-listed among best practices from more than 60 different organizations represented at the forum. In point of fact, the “Do the Good” curriculum was, to the knowledge of the organizers, the first practice originating outside of Europe to ever be included in the best practice compilation in the 10 year history of the EYSF. In this sense, Doc Wayne is breaking new ground on far-off shores! Moreover, my discussions while at the forum about the work of Doc Wayne never failed to elicit responses of profound interest, admiration and respect even among other SBYD organization representatives.
To close, I wish there was a way to vicariously impart the energy I gained for our work and our cause while in Cyprus to everyone involved with Doc Wayne. However, it bares noting that no matter how nice best practice sharing and networking are, they are inconsequential when weighed against the tangible impact being had in gyms and on playing fields in the Doc Wayne network. Upon returning home from the forum, I went immediately to my first Doc Wayne training at Germaine Lawrence in Arlington. As the palm trees and press releases of Cyprus faded away, I realized that I have never been more satisfied to be in a low-key, unassuming gym because my travels half-way around the world have taught me that it is in such places that real change truly lives.