Written by Twilla King, Senior at Robert Morris University
During my first semester of college at Robert Morris University, I sat through 42 hours’ worth of technology lessons as a university requirement with no desire to ever look back. I was finally done with the STEM world—or so I thought. I was first introduced to STEM when I attended my first engineering summer camp at the age of 6, and even graduated from a STEM high school with a concentration in engineering. Yet, I knew I would never pursue a career in the STEM field, as my passions were always revolved around governmental affairs. So, it is a surprise to many - myself included - that I would find myself interning with an IT services provider.
"So, it is a surprise to many - myself included - that I would find myself interning with an IT services provider"
I started my internship at Apogee IT Services three weeks ago, anxious about jumping into a field I had little to no knowledge or interest in. I was unsure of what my tasks would look like, how I would complete them, or how I would fit into the office culture. Not only that, working directly under an executive is intimidating within itself. Luckily, I am no stranger to forcing myself into uncomfortable situations, so I wasn't completely apprehensive. But, I soon found that I had no reason to worry in the first place. I was immediately introduced to a team of dedicated staff members eager to teach me the ropes of the business. I was assured that I was not alone and that the knowledge comes over time. I was so worked up about being an outstanding intern that I almost forgot that the whole purpose of an internship is to learn and grow and that no one expected me to be perfect or know it all on my first day.
Internships typically have a stigma attached to them as turning people into “errand-runners” who get paid little to nothing to do the tasks that no one else wants to do. However, they are so much more than that. Internships are designed to help you grow by giving you real-world experience in fields you may not typically get jobs in with little to no experience. Through my internship at Apogee, I have been working as the executive assistant to CEO Paul Cronin. While working under Paul, I have learned more about business operations in the past three weeks than I have while attending university for the past three years. I have been able to sit in on executive meetings, shadow interviews, learn new business models, and explore some of the biggest challenges facing modern businesses today. I’ve also learned about the different roles and responsibilities within a business and how they come together to achieve their goals.
"I have learned more about business operations in the past three weeks than I have while attending university for the past three years."
My favorite part about interning so far is being exposed to the professional business environment. This was my first time ever being introduced to business practices that keep a successful business afloat. I have watched myself grow exponentially in my internship over the past few weeks. I’ve become far more comfortable in an office environment. I now know that creating uniformity is one of the biggest challenges in business expansion and acquisition and that employee satisfaction is just as important as customers. I've also learned how essential the role marketing is in growing a business. I have been presented with unfamiliar tasks and have found the value in asking for help. Most importantly, I learned that there will be bumps in the road, but the key is to exercise resilience and to welcome new challenges with open arms.
"Most importantly, I learned that there will be bumps in the road, but the key is to exercise resilience and to welcome new challenges with open arms."
I am only three weeks in and know that there's a lot in store in the coming months. I am excited to see the new challenges, solutions, and knowledge I will gain during this internship and am eager to share my experiences with you guys, so stay tuned for my next blog. If you’ve ever thought about taking on an internship or know someone who might benefit from this experience, leave a comment on my blog; I’ll be happy to tell you more about the advantages of interning and the process of obtaining one. See you soon, and until then, thank you Apogee.
Thank you for sharing your story, Twilla! We are so lucky to have you on board at #TeamApogee!