As I approach the end of my non-profit internship at World Bicycle Relief, I made a list of the lessons I learned during my 15 weeks here.
College students are no strangers to internships. The importance of having an internship has been ingrained in our brains as a stepping stone to landing a job after college. More importantly, a meaningful internship is what sets you apart from others going through the hustle.
While these lessons are unique to my experience, all can be valuable tips for you as an intern hoping to have a meaningful experience:
Set up a learning plan
In the beginning, my supervisor and I created a learning plan and discussed what I was hoping to accomplish during my time here. Being in an interactive environment, I was able to express my interests and tailor my internship experience. We also had a midpoint check-in that ensured I was working toward and accomplishing my goals.
Speak up about what you want
WBR’s’s non-profit work is concentrated in Africa, but I was curious about the Latin American market. I expressed my desire to use both my Spanish and Latin American knowledge and was able to pursue that interest with various projects throughout the semester.
Act like a sponge
I made sure to take on almost everything I was given. For me, there was always something to learn from each research assignment or SEO project. The more you do, the more you have to show for the experience when you’re looking for another internship – or a job.
This is something I made sure to change throughout the semester. Don’t feel confined to your job description. Ask to be a part of other meetings. There is so much to learn from observing and understanding what others do in the office. Remember, you are a part of the team.
Appreciate your work environment
World Bicycle Relief is the coolest space I have been a part of. The work environment is really amazing and the layout contributes to the work creativity and camaraderie. And the snazzy new intern table at the center of the office allows you to be even more involved with the team.
Your internship is not just about getting work experience. It is an opportunity to meet amazing people and connect. Build relationships with your organization that can potentially help you out in the future. I certainly will be keeping in touch with the WBR family.
There is nothing worse than dreading going to your internship. Lucky for me, that was never a problem. Make the most of your internship and remember that although you’re trying to gain new skills, you also want to enjoy yourself in the process. Also, if you have the chance, do the team bike ride. It was my most nerve-racking but best experience at WBR.
Looking for an opportunity join World Bicycle Relief?