As I wrap up my summer at Simply Soothing, I can’t help but look back at my experiences the past two summers. While I have learned a lot in my many business courses, I have realized that there is no substitute for real experience! And so as I begin my senior year of college, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on five things I’ve learned from my internship at Simply Soothing.
- You never know until you ask.
During my sophomore year, I was scouring the internet for potential internship opportunities. I was looking for a paid internship, which was close to home, and included a business aspect. I was getting frustrated because nothing close to home seemed to stick out. As I thought about what companies were within driving distance to Columbus Junction, Simply Soothing popped into my mind. Although I did not see any employment opportunities on the website, I e-mailed Freda simply to inquire about the possibility of an internship. Now, I’ve worked here for two summers, and it has opened up other opportunities for me. And while I am not saying that Simply Soothing will offer you a job if you send them an e-mail, I am encouraging you to purposefully seek out opportunities, even if they may seem far-fetched.
- Learn to adapt.
When I was hired at Simply Soothing, I didn’t know what to expect, and neither did they! I was the first intern who they had hired, and both parties were a little unsure. On top of this, I began in May, which is in the middle of bug season! My duties have evolved as I have worked here. I have received many e-mails that say, “Sarah, can you take care of this?” And while it may not be something I am familiar with, I have learned to figure it out, because it may come up again!
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
I’m sure that by now, Alicia, our supervisor, is accustomed to hearing me call down to her work station countless times per day! I have learned that it is better to ask questions first, rather than doing something wrong, and then re-doing it. I have learned from experience that this saves me lots of time and frustration! When I first began, I felt like I should know all the answers, especially when I was talking with customers on the phone. I quickly realized that, working at Simply Soothing only three months of the year, I was never going to know the answer to every question! But, I could find out if I asked!
- Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!
It’s not unlikely that I will step out of a Thursday morning meeting with a long list of tasks to accomplish. It can be easy to be overwhelmed by these things, especially when deadlines are looming. However, I have learned that it is important to think about what is the most urgent, similar to how a hospital might use a triage system. Along with this, I have learned to think about things realistically. I may be able to get a task done in the next hour, but only if there are no interruptions and everything goes as planned! Freda always reminds me that I don’t need to over-exert myself, because my work will still be there tomorrow!
- Accept challenges.
I love being presented with a challenge and figuring out ways to meet that challenge. During my time at Simply Soothing, I have been presented with many challenges, some of which have been more difficult than others. Through this, I have learned that I learn more when I accept a challenge, than when I second-guess myself. Everyone is willing to answer questions and I learn a lot! I hope that the challenge of working at Simply Soothing will prepare me for my next challenge, whatever it may be!