Entering the Engineering World, as a PR Major.

Good evening and welcome to a special edition of Industry and Conversation. In this post, I will rant on and on about how my first collegiate internship has been going and then proceed to insert minor complaints about how I initially hated sleeping on the floor of my new apartment, how money goes really fast, and how growing up is really ridiculously hard. Bear with me, please.

This past Sunday I moved into my very first apartment. The drive was smooth, the move was fine, and I finished unpacking everything I brought with me down to Austin. Unfortunately, my bed, one of the main pieces of important furniture, had still not arrived at my doorstep by the time I arrived. I like to consider myself a fairly patient person, however, I have been sleeping on the floor of my bedroom for four days and I wasn’t exactly excited when I discovered my mattress has just departed from a Sacramento, CA warehouse and won’t be here for another four days. Eight days without a mattress may seem rather painful. However, I’m so exhausted by the end of the day that I could honestly care less whether I slept on the floor or the back of my car. The one lesson I have learned so far: never grow up; it’s just too hard; be a kid forever – be Peter Pan.

But I do have good news! I started interning this past Wednesday and I love everything my internship has to offer. It is definitely not what I expected, but then again, I didn’t know much going into the internship. On the first day, I found myself accompanying my supervisor into an e-newsletter meeting where piles of information were thrown at me. Let me go out on a limb and say, I have no knowledge whatsoever about the healthcare industry and the implementation of any of the processes that occur within the industry. Guess what I have to research and write about within the next week? Healthcare and how the practices presented in one of our products has been proven to be successful in the healthcare industry and can be applied to other industries, especially in engineering and construction.

I have found myself writing more than I ever have at any internship; a great bonus considering I need writing samples for this industry. I have yet to go into an interview that didn’t ask for writing samples. However, I have also used more engineering terms in my writing within the past two days than I ever have. I’m learning terms that I have to look up and figure out how to put in common terms for the average employee to understand.

So far, my first two days have taught me the following:

1. Listen and take notes whenever possible
2. It’s okay to ask questions for clarification
3. Coffee is STILL your best friend
4. The first draft is never the last draft
5. Don’t be offended when your writing is being edited
6. Add to the conversation when you have ideas, my supervisor gets really excited when I have a good idea
7. I’m the youngest person in the office; the only one under 20 years of age, but people actually like my “fresh” eyes
8. Going to a drive-thru during lunch hour is a bad idea; everyone in the corporate world is there
9. It’s okay to be scared of tasks that are given to you; try your best
10. Yes, it is normal to have the feeling that every executive is watching you and testing your abilities – PROVE YOURSELF WORTHY

I constantly have to remind myself that I’m only in my first few days and I have a lot to learn, but this experience is going to be worth it. I have a feeling I’m going to learn more about the engineering industry than I initially thought. Maybe I’ll even be able to communicate with my engineering major friends when they’re conversing about their labs and research – but that’s farther down the road.

Photo via collegefashion.net

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One comment

  1. Another thing I want to add to the list of things an intern should remember is, “You are more capable than you believe.” A lot of the times at CBS I was asked to do things I was afraid I’d fail at, but I did them quite well. I’m glad you’re enjoying your internship! I know you’ll make the most out of it.


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