Getting On-the-Job Work Experience: Q&A with YWCA Eureka! Interns
Each year, in the third summer of the Eureka! program, youth participate in four-week, part-time internships at partner organizations across the Twin Cities. Interns spend four weeks learning about different careers, connecting with positive adult role models and gaining valuable work experience to help them determine what they want in their future careers.
Four interns (including me!) were placed in different departments across YWCA Minneapolis. For one of my projects with YWCA’s Marketing and Communications department, I sat down with three other interns to discuss what the experience was like and what we all learned. Read on to hear our conversation!
Q: What did you expect before starting your internships?
- Helen – I expected to learn how to write grants, which I did eventually learn as my internship continued!
- Lesily – I expected it to be exactly how it is now – my supervisor helping me with new projects I get assigned either every day or every week.
- Diadou – I expected to be sitting at my desk doing different projects that my supervisor would ask me to do.
- Khadija – I personally thought that it would be boring! I kind of came with a fixed mindset. By the time Alain, my co-worker, gave me a tour, I knew it was going to be different than what I thought.
Q: How would you describe your first day of work?
- Helen – It was amazing! The community and the people were so amazing!
- Lesily – It was good. My supervisor was nice. She introduced me to people who worked in the IT department. They asked me what kind of work I wanted to do and what I wanted to learn from this experience.
- Diadou – I was greeted by my supervisor and introduced to the rest of the marketing and communications department. We also went out to lunch so I could get to know the rest of the team better.
- Khadija – My first day went by very smoothly and I enjoyed it. I was super excited!
Q: How would you describe the people you work with?
- Helen – The people here are just amazing. They are very understanding, very smart and bold. And like Diadou, Lesily and Khadija, they are very amazing people.
- Lesily – I would describe them as caring and communicative because they are there for you and make you feel comfortable to ask questions.
- Diadou – The people I work with are very kind and helpful.
- Khadija – Very cool and super funny.
Q: Has working at YWCA had an impact on what career you would want to pursue in the future?
- Helen – Yes, it has helped me be more open-minded.
- Lesily – Yes, because in the future I want to be a pediatrician and I am going to need to have some sort of computer skills.
- Diadou – Yes, because I was debating whether I want to go into medicine or business and interning at YWCA has given me the “business experience.”
- Khadija – No, it hasn’t changed my mind! I still want to go into medicine.
Q: If you could go back to the day before you started your internship, what advice would you give yourself?
- Lesily – To not be nervous and be open-minded!
- Helen – Everyone has things to learn and you aren’t the only one.
- Diadou – Be open-minded and don’t be shy.
- Khadija – Get to work on time, stay focused and keep trying no matter what.