As I got into my car today and drove to the Alumni House, I realized that today is not only the day I write my last blog, but it is also my last day as an intern for WIU Alumni Programs. As I sit here and think about all that this internship, the Alumni Programs staff, and the university itself have done for me, I am not really sure where to begin this ending, but I am definitely going to give it a try.
The most exciting and rewarding part of this experience has been meeting many wonderful people here at WIU. Every week, I was able to meet with at least three different individuals from different events, organizations, and departments on campus. However, they all shared something in common: a passion for WIU. Not only did I learn more about WIU, but I also learned what it has to offer, the accomplishments the university has achieved over the years, and what WIU does for me as an enrolled student. But most of all, I simply learned about the many joys each individual I interviewed has for WIU and the passion they each share to promote the university. I have not only taken professional and career knowledge from this internship, but I have learned many life lessons, as well, that will help me in my future endeavors.
Now, I can’t go through this last blog without mentioning Amanda. Amanda Shoemaker, the associate alumni director, has been my supervisor throughout this entire semester and she is the one who has edited every single one of my blogs prior to posting. Without her, my writing would not be as proficient as it was when you checked out this alumni blog multiple times each week. Amanda taught me how to be professional in the business world. For example, she shared tips on how to conduct a good interview. She also showed me how to present my work verbally to an audience when I spoke to Tech Fest attendees a few weeks ago. (Tech Fest is an annual campus event where people who work with technology show how technology connects the University and the community.) Overall, Amanda has been a great inspiration and has shown me what it takes to become a successful businesswoman. For that, I thank you, Amanda.
Thanks to this internship, I secured a student job in University Relations starting in the fall. My career goal is to become a member of a public relations team within a somewhat local company and what better place to start than right here at WIU. This opportunity came about when I interviewed Terri Hare, WIU’s scholarship director. She works closely with Darcie Shinberger, the assistant vice president of advancement and public services. Darcie is also the one who oversees University Relations. When I mentioned to Terri that I would love to speak to Darcie, she was able to introduce me to her, and that introduction led to an interview. By the end of the interview, Darcie offered me a student position in her office. It was like a dream come true.
Of course, I will miss the little things when it comes to being an intern for Alumni Programs. Whether it was taking a break from work and chatting with the Alumni Programs staff or grabbing one of the yummy cookies that were often available in the kitchen, I will miss it all. I will definitely miss getting a nice “hello” from Bev when I walk through the door every day. She always put a smile on my face.
Even though this is just a stepping-stone towards my career goal, it is definitely a big one. Without this internship, I would not have made the connections I did, and I would not have been able to experience what it is like to have a job in the real world. I have learned so much throughout this semester that I will use not only to finish my college career, but also when I land that big job after college. I also have to give a huge shout out to my family and friends that have supported me through out this entire experience by reading my blog and sharing it with everyone they know. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people.
To all of my readers, thank you for all your support and comments each week. It was nice to know that I wrote about subjects that people care about. I always wrote each blog with the readers’ interest in the back of my mind and I see that it has paid off. Without you and your feedback, I would not be able to better myself as a writer.
So, for the last time, thank you all for reading my WIU blogs. And remember, Think Purple, Think Alumni, Think Western. Go Necks!