In my opinion, taking a chance is most often a good thing. For some people it may be more closely associated with negative attributes such as risk, but for me it is a chance for unforeseen opportunity. It’s by no means certain, as unforeseen opportunities may pose unforeseen challenges, but to me it seems better to rise to the challenge than back down from it. Due to worldly circumstances arising right after I accepted an internship with Schneider Downs, I was worried these would be challenges too great for the internship to go on. In spite of this however, Schneider Downs proved to have a similar mentality regarding chance and its challenges and I couldn’t be happier to work for a company that values and pursues this attitude.
When applying to the internship, I had also felt like I was taking a chance on myself. I had never done any real work with hacking or cybersecurity before applying. I had dealt with the technologies you work with in the cybersecurity field, just never from an exploitative perspective, but, with the encouragement of a then-current employee at the firm, I decided to apply. He constantly assured me that they didn’t expect me to come in and know everything, and in fact they didn’t, with the kind and welcoming people that led the first day orientation telling us “We don’t expect you to know anything!”
Now when I say they didn’t expect us to know anything, I mean it in the absolutely best way possible. I’m referring to the astounding amount of encouragement I got to ask questions and talk to people of all levels within the company. Getting to talk to everyone from fellow interns, to seniors, to shareholders, I was able to get a great understanding of the goals of the company and its team as a whole. Additionally, this made acquiring knowledge and asking for help from fellow employees feel natural and welcomed. I never found myself feeling out of place, that my question was a bad one, or that I was taking up someone’s time, and that to me is the most perfect team atmosphere for encouraging growth of everyone on the team. I truly feel I grew both personally and professionally from the work and experiences provided by this internship.
Now, having worked with all the amazing people at Schneider Downs, I can see why they were so determined to take a chance and rise to the challenges of providing a virtual internship. The open and welcoming atmosphere made it so easy to come in and mix with long-time employees of the firm and instantly start to learn from them. Had this not been the case, I can easily see how a virtual internship would be a nightmare for both intern and employer. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to work for a company that is so dedicated to the comfort, experience, and growth of its employees. Taking chances is easy when you have a team as amazing as the one at Schneider Downs backing you up. It is because of these chances and the company’s responses to them that the internship was as valuable an experience as it was and I can’t thank Schneider Downs enough nor recommend the internship enough to others.
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