Over the past summer, I have had the wonderful experience of working as an intern at Partnership in Education and Resilience (PEAR). My interning experience has taught me so much about the professional world and has helped me find my voice. Before starting my internship, I felt very intimidated by the idea of working with adults and sharing my opinions in a group setting. Since starting my internship, I have begun to feel more and more comfortable interacting with my coworkers and voicing my ideas during meetings.
My first week at PEAR was filled with onboarding to get to know the organization and one-on-one meetings to get to know my supervisor and coworkers. I felt overwhelmed, to say the least, but I left every meeting feeling positive and supported. Everyone I met at PEAR was kind and made sure I felt comfortable with every project I did and every meeting I attended. During my second week at PEAR, my supervisor told me that I would be leading our weekly Friday check-in. Speaking is not my strong suit, so I was immediately anxious about having to lead an hour-long conversation. Before our meeting, my supervisor gave me a loose schedule that I could fill in so that I had some guidance as to what is usually covered in weekly meetings. When it came time for the meeting my supervisor was supportive and gave me time to talk about what I had been working on that week. We started off the meeting with a would you rather question to get the ball rolling and from there I felt comfortable talking to her about the projects I had been working on and what I needed help with to continue being successful in my work. While talking, I felt respected by her and confident in what I had to say. We were able to solve any problems I had and share the positives of our week. I left that meeting feeling proud of myself and more confident about future meetings. My newfound confidence in speaking also helped me feel more comfortable with sharing during cohort days.
Throughout my time at JUST-US, I have had many moments of personal growth and feel that my experiences this summer have made me a better version of myself. I have learned how to interact with others in a professional environment, as well as problem-solving skills that I will be able to use in all parts of my life. I have had the opportunity to meet amazing people and do amazing things during my interning and cohort days, and I have made many friends along the way. This experience helped me grow not only professionally but also personally.