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Internship Escapade

Posted September 27, 2012 @ 4:42pm | by Intern Kevin

Internship Escapade

As a junior at the University of St. Thomas, I’ve had numerous opportunities to develop an appreciation for knowledge. My fields of study and entry-level jobs had defined my academic and professional life—a cyclic and rather unexcitable string of affairs.

Being the introvert that I was, I sought something to excite me; little did I know how my new position would cause a complete emergence of self. My search began with my decision to change majors at the University. Communications and writing had always been an interest, but I thought…what about the technical aspects of life? Where do they fit in? And, how might I relate that to other people? These questions troubled me. But, I have a habit of answering these questions without knowing it.  Eventually, I fell into the realm of scientific writing—a suitable combination of my interests I thought.

The next question all students and children face is “What now?” Pressured by peers, professors, and parents alike, I began an aimless search. I was not specifically looking for an internship, though those same pressures asserted the importance of an intern. I was also not particularly interested in pushing papers or data entry. So, I thought, where the hell do I start?

In an age of rising technical proficiency and age-gaps, I began with Google. Again, I was not specifically looking for positions. Rather, I was looking for motivating topics and businesses. The problem I faced was experience. I soon realized I was not qualified for much of the work that interested me. Regardless, I sent numerous letters of inquiry, one of which I sent to Space2Burn.

I expressed an increasing interest in all things technical. For the case of Space2Burn, I asked not for a position. Instead, I sought more knowledge. And, after reviewing their website several times, I understood the voice of their company.

Within a day or two, Jon responded to me via email. His tone, as I had gathered from much of the website was both informal and professional. How, I thought, was he able to merge two seemingly disparate tones with such ease?

Jon immediately grasped the importance of my current studies and job obligations. We exchanged several phone calls until an appropriate appointment was set for an interview. By this time, I was both animated and concerned. I knew I was not directly qualified for any position at a web-development firm and dreaded the questions revolving my previous experience.

As I ventured to the office door, I was immediately greeted by Jon, dressed in his usual attire. God, I thought, I’m overdressed. Trevor turned to acknowledge my presence and said hello, though I could tell he was knee-deep in work.

I uttered my explicit interest in their company; I admitted my lack of experience but explained I arrived only to learn more. Nervous as I was, the experience only peaked my curiosity. Not long after, I received a call and a message from Jon explaining his interest in me. I was startled in all honesty, but how could I deny an opportunity as beneficial as this.

I arrived an intern; I left a professional.

For the first day, I sat at the long conference table separating the space. I delved into the tutorials explaining the processes of their very own ignite platform, a content management system. I knew nothing of a CMS and was told that I would be constructing support documentation for clients. How daunting.

Before I could blink, I was into the system. I understood the process and most of the platform’s functions—so much so that I was able to relate this knowledge to Scott, an intern, and a client. My passion for relating technical knowledge to an untrained mind was nourished. I had not expected the distinct correlation between science writing and web-development until I started noting the workings of each.

My position flourished throughout the summer term as I continued with support documentation, website migration, and quality assurance. The atmosphere at Space2Burn facilitated creativity; the quicker I learned, the more I understood about Jon and Trevor. Their commitment to service and satisfaction rivaled no business I had ever experienced. These qualities were especially evident in the way they managed tech-support.

I was an intern by title alone, and by that, I was a member of the team. I continue to assist Space2Burn with projects. I have also gained a particular appreciation for the flexibility of their work, particularly when regarding non-profit organizations. This transition from outsider to intern was exceptional. I broke from the debilitating tethers of concern and formed a definition of self.

Jon and Trevor’s influence is welcomed. Perhaps, this is because I am interested in many of the same topics, be it science, music, or technology. Or perhaps, it is because I admire their work ethic. In either case, I am far removed from the nervous interviewee.

I look forward to each day with Space2Burn as Jon and Trevor acquire new projects with unmatched outcomes.

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