Walking into Schneider Downs for intern orientation proved slightly more nerve-wracking than I had anticipated. I walked into the River Rooms expecting to find myself among strangers introducing themselves to one another and coping with the tension of making a good impression on new co-workers. Instead, I walked into a room filled with friends, casually discussing their recent college shenanigans. Surprisingly, one of the interns approached me with the question, “Were you at the Christmas party?” Then it hit me; these interns have known each other for nearly six months already and have tons in common. Thankfully, everyone was very friendly, and I ended up feeling very at ease. It didn’t take long, however, to realize that I was among exclusively tax and audit interns, both topics that I know nearly nothing about. My skill set varied greatly from those around me. I was puzzled at the mention of an all-day audit training session for the interns and wondered if I was missing something or if I really had what it took to be a successful and effective intern here. My concerns mounted until Sean Smith and Veronica Bucci began their presentation on the marketing department. I started to realize that there might be a place for my right-brain thinking in a predominantly left-brained environment. Originally hesitant about the position of a marketing intern among accountants, I was beginning to feel like I could really contribute to the firm, being surrounded by the other similarly minded members of the marketing team. Disappointed that the marketing portion of orientation was coming to an end, I began to try to look forward to lunch with the rest of the interns. However, Sean announced, in front of the entire room that I wouldn’t be eating with everyone else; I would be joining the other marketing employees for a get-to-know-you lunch. For some this would be scary, and I’ll admit I felt singled out, but in the best way possible. The team took it upon themselves to get to know me and my interests over that lunch and made note of what I wanted to do during my short internship here. Somehow I had instantly become a part of a right-brained oasis in an unfamiliar left-brained world.
Being a communications and English literature dual major, I am part of the School of Arts and Sciences rather than the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh. Because of this, my marketing skills are geared in a different direction than many might think. My interests lie in writing and social media, and the team immediately took note of this, making sure I had many projects in these areas. I now feel comfortable contributing my ideas and can feel confident that my opinion is always considered even though I’m an intern.
Looking back on this experience, I realize how much I gained. This brief six-week internship was far more than a resume booster; it has been an introduction into the professional world that I can only look on positively. It proved that even someone of my skill set can thrive and enjoy a career in business. The business world always seemed like a far-off, foreign land that parents disappeared to from nine o’clock in the morning to five o’clock in the evening and returned from frazzled and stressed. I now know that this world has a place set aside for people just like me, and it’s possible to find a path that I enjoy. I find myself wishing that my internship could continue through the rest of the summer, because I feel as if there’s so much more I can gain with every additional day I spend here. I’ve learned so many valuable skills about how to apply my right-brain skills in a left-brained world.
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