What’s in an internship?

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Reflections from Ashley Yearwood, Content Intern

Around December of every year and sometimes even earlier, like many other post-secondary students, I find myself abroad searching for summer work opportunities. Bermuda offers a wealth of internships in the insurance and finance industries, and unfortunately, not much else. While both respected professions, I, myself, am not interested in either. Though few and far between, from the outside, I recognized that internships are important in every field because they increase network, give real-world experience and career foundation, and, not to mention, build your resume. Internships encourage young people to return to the island making them feel like valuable members of society and increase their knowledge of industry in Bermuda.

I’m a graphic design post-graduate student, with a BA in Communication, a shining beacon to the schools I have attended. And yet, I don’t have the same opportunities in Bermuda to gain work experience as others do. I have always had to make a choice: join team insurance  or continue towards my passion and hope that the people will recognize the importance of thoughtful design, or that someone will take an interest in my potential, or at the very least, let me shadow for free. I’m here to tell you that good and hard work, does pay off. This summer, I was fortunate enough to have twointernships in my field of study.

My internship working with the RG Magazine team has been incredible. I have been able to use the skills from both my undergrad and current degree seamlessly, and get a more realistic viewpoint into what a career might look like design and also in communications.

What’s in an internship? Now from the inside, I can attest that these programs show what the field is like. Often times, in school, we have these idealistic views of the working world. We are told how we are going to use what we have learned. A relevant internship will either confirm or break down those idealistic views. Either way they give you the reality of the working world. It is not always rainbows and flowers, and I have now experienced the harder side of it all. Deadlines come quickly, stress builds as the amount of projects build and not everyone is going to like your work. Luckily internships also allow you to do real projects without the added pressure of messing up. Mess up, yes, but the idea is to get messy! I have learned more from what I have done wrong than what I have done right.

The work is also in the meeting of key people. The relationships you gain from internships are also connections you could possibly use in your future. For the first time, I have been a part of a team willing to give me valuable information and help with my career path. Not only do I get to practice my craft, but I get immediate help on how to make my work better. I spend my entire day learning from my tasks, from feedback, and from the conversations with those around me. I have been fortunate enough to work with whom I believe is an incredibly inspiring person and mentor who has helped me grow as a person and as a student to her craft.

Until this summer, I was convinced I would not be able to come home after school and find a job because I was under the assumption that there wasn’t room for anyone who didn’t want to work in a bank or in an insurance firm, but there is room.This experience has given me a more optimistic view on my chances of working, settling and being fulfilled in a job on the island.

This December, I hope that I will be able to find more and more internships that cater to students like me –– creative, innovative and culture driven artists. Through this experience, I now know I am in the right field, and feel like I am making positive steps towards becoming my most successful self.

 This article was originally published in the August 2018 edition of the RG Back-to-School supplement.

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