Career Development Internship: Two Perspectives

I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes as I swung my car into a parking spot and put it in park. My phone showed 6:56am, so I had two minutes to sit and listen to the radio before I had to walk over to my part-time job: that was five hours and four minutes until I escaped for the weekend.

That Friday morning as I braved a headache and a sink full of dirty dishes at work, I knew it was time to find a new gig. After some research I learned about the Career Development Internship at the UGA Career Center and a year later, I still haven't looked back.

Today I get to paint you a picture of the experience I've had as a Career Development Intern (CDI).

First, completing a diverse range of projects has given me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone. As an analytical, left-brained, finance major, it's not often that I get to create event flyers, research online programs, or write about career fields. I've done all of these projects during my time as a Career Development Intern. I try to actively seek out projects that diversify my skillset and I've been able to do that through the CDI program.

It isn't easy to learn new skills! Meeting one-on-one with students was particularly challenging at first, but successfully learning to master this skill has already paid dividends: I've taken what I learned and applied it to personal class tutoring for my peers here at UGA. Additionally, I've never been asked to create any kind of marketing materials before being tasked with flyer design by a Career Consultant. Tasks like this have built my creative skillset and I've even begun seeking them out.

Finally, the CDI support system has been invaluable as I navigate these diverse projects. As part of a tight-knit CDI team, I'm able to collaborate and learn from my team during any challenging experiences. Additionally, my personal CDI mentor and the Career Consultants have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support me in my projects, my job search, and even my personal life.

Not every part-time job actively encourages college students to grow personally and professionally. Even fewer jobs allow us to explore our talents in whatever projects in which we would like to dabble. I can't thank the Career Center enough for the experiences I've had in my time here. I want to leave you with one final question to consider:

Are you being intentional about putting yourself in an environment that contributes to your long-term success?

- Elijah Daniel, 4th Year Finance Major

My Career Development Internship with the University of Georgia Career Center has certainly been a critical aspect of my college experience. Not only has this internship developed my own professional skills and made me a more well-rounded student, it has provided me with some of my favorite UGA memories. I interviewed for this position as a fresh first year student. Before this, I had never experienced a formal interview before and even finished writing my resume the day before I applied. I was certain I would not be considered for the role due to my inexperience in all things career-related.

When I got the email saying I was chosen for the 2018-2019 Career Development Internship (CDI) staff, I was ecstatic but also terrified. I felt so unprepared for what was about to come. As my first weeks on the job went by and I started to get a grasp on all things career through detailed trainings and workshops, shadowing and practicing student appointments, and one-on-one meetings with my mentor, I started to feel like a part of the Career Center team. 

One of my favorite experiences as a CDI actually began as a terrifying one. I volunteered to present to a student organization about career fair preparation. After hours of preparation and advice from the Career Center staff, I presented to the club and did an amazing job. I got so many compliments on my poise, my knowledge and my presentation techniques. This made me feel so elated and truly proud of myself. Not only was I proud of myself for speaking in front of so many students, but I was also proud of the confidence I demonstrated in this unfamiliar situation. They were probably feeling the same unpreparedness I felt the day I received this internship and I was able to aid them in feeling more confident in their abilities.

The CDI position has given me many more experiences just like this one and that is why I love this job. I am constantly challenging myself and pushing myself out of my comfort zone, learning along the way, all while helping fellow Dawgs reach to their fullest potential.

- Anna Blair, 2nd Year Intended Management & International Business Major

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