My lovely friend Anne asked if I would post an update about how my Daughter is feeling about her internship.  As she has reached the halfway point of her four week stint, I have prepared some random thoughts- If I am quoting something, it might not be the exact quote, but a reasonable representation.

Day 1: Daughter arrives home at 5:30, plops into living room chair with a grunt. (honestly I thought she was going to ask for the evening paper, a cocktail and her slippers) “Wow.  Working a job is physically exhausting.” (Cause you know she’s spending her summer in a mine hauling up coal- not in an air conditioned office a block from the subway)

Day 2: Work really is tedious.  You just do the same thing for eight hours.” (No?!? Say it isn’t so!  Tedious?)

Day 3:I don’t know if they’re properly utilizing my skills. ” (OK – first off- what skills?  You’re a rising Senior in High School.  Did you think they were going to ask calculus questions or to analyze a poem? and secondly, she was asked to work on the new website, and she’s working on a project that she will have authorship on- seriously?  I know people with bona fide jobs without that much responsibility)

Day 4: “At school they try to make learning fun and try to think of things to stimulate us.  That’s just not how it is at work.  Maybe school should give us a little reality check as to how life actually works.  Maybe we have to learn that life is not always fun.” (OK- I don’t have much to add to that)

Day 5:”Some of these kids are so smart.  The things they think about and talk about are just amazing.  The conversations are so well thought out”

Day 6: “I realize that I’m not being challenged by my peers at school.  We talk about u tube videos. These kids are crazy intelligent.  They don’t even know who Bethany Mota is, yet they know the head of every country.” (yes- my daughter goes to a public high school with a 2.6% acceptance rate and is nationally ranked- and she is a study nerd- but apparently she is lagging)

Day 7: “The first few days everyone went out of their way to dress nice.  Now we all realize no one notices what we wear. They just keep telling us to learn to code cause then we will always be employed.”

Day 8: “I realized today that not only an I being shortchanged intellectually at school, I’m also being short changed at home.  Really- you guys need to step up your game.” (Gee- this is what you say to the people about to finance your most probably expensive education? Not such a smart statement…)

Day 9: “G (head person at place where she is working) is just amazing.  I can’t believe how much she fits into a day, and how many things she has accomplished since taking leadership of X. It’s so inspiring to see someone take responsibility for what they are doing, and actively work to make things better and continue on their mission statement. And she takes time to talk and interact with the interns.  She makes us feel like what we think, say and do matter.  And she’s a good person. And you know, really really smart.  She went to “dream school” for graduate studies. 

Day 10: “A new group of interns started today.  They looked so scared.  I wonder if that’s how I looked my first day.” Because after two weeks she is a seasoned pro…

It’s funny how quickly she has assimilated into the corporate culture.  I watch her in the morning as she drinks her coffee and scans the news headlines to see what is happening in the world.  She dresses in her tailored outfits that she has cobbled together from her closet and mine, tosses a granola bar and water bottle into her messenger bag, making sure she has an umbrella and sunglasses cause NYC in the summer could go either way.  She’s broadened her horizons a little, has met some amazing students from High Schools, Colleges and Grad schools.  She has learned a little of the reality of bureaucracy, and waste and empty promises- things that you don’t learn in school. She is learning to navigate an unknown world and she is not only surviving but thriving.  She’s tired and challenged and happy.  And I’ll take that.  Challenged and happy are pretty good things to be.

 

61 thoughts on “The Intern- The Reality

  1. It’s fun to read about a smart kid as she begins to understand the reality of working life. Here’s hoping that as an adult she finds a way of living her life so that she remains challenged and happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is incredibly enlightening although not surprising at all.

    There are people who go to university and say after the first year that their entire education up to senior year high school has been a waste of time. Or, ‘what education’ might be more accurate.

    My son just finished grade 7. He was basically indoctrinated by his teacher’s political views VB the entire year. He learned nothing. In contrast, his grade 6 teacher, just a few years out of teacher’s college, was amazing. He learned more from her than in all the previous years combined.

    Public education in Canada. Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know. It’s so hard to make sure they’re getting balance. Which apparently my over achieving daughter feels she’s lacking. But there you go. A little humility check isn’t a bad thing…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Impressive! What a great learning experience for her and it sounds like she is learning a lot. I agree our high schools aren’t preparing kids for real life and as parents it is even harder competing with the surge of technology this generation has grown up with.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They do grow up rather fast, don’t they? 2 weeks in, and she’s gone from ‘tedious’ and ‘me’ type statements to growing in a new culture.

    Bravo for your youngling (and you, for her upbringing) in a rapid growth spurt into adulthood. There are a lot of people who never get past the me stage even after 50 years of employment.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My favorite? “Maybe school should give us a little reality check as to how life really works.” I so agree with this. It goes along with my pet peeve that they no longer teach basic life skills in school anymore, like home ec and auto shop, etc. Your daughter is a gem!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. “At school they try to make learning fun and try to think of things to stimulate us. That’s just not how it is at work.” I can’t tell you how much I was relieved that she didn’t follow this statement up with, “Maybe they should try to do this more for their employees at work.” It sounds like this internship has been a good experience for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OK, that’s it! I absolutely adore your daughter!
    I loved everything about this post!
    Does it not give you pause to witness her figuring it out? Is it truly not awe inspiring to see what the foundation you built is beginning to accept what she chooses to create with it?
    She’s got a damn fine head on her shoulders and a damn finer heart in her chest.
    She didn’t grow up in a vacuum. That’s there because of you!
    I hug you both so tightly! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I do love listening to her thoughts every night, and it’s funny to see how he4 mind works things out! This has been a great experience for her and I’m so glad she had the opportunity!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This was most delightful. Thank you! My wish was granted. My grandson was sitting on the floor when I started reading this, so I read it aloud to him. He is a senior in college and really got a kick out of your daughter’s observations.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is awesome for her to get that kind of experience at such a young age. I bagged groceries in high school. Though I still learned a lot about that but an internship would have been way cooler.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I think we learn from every experience that comes our way (I worked in a clothing store) and I’m just happy that this has been such a positive experience

        Like

      1. I remember that well from when my daughter got her first job! She complained that no one told her when she was doing a good job (the way her teachers did.) My husband told her, “That’s what your paycheck represents. If you weren’t doing your job, they’d just fire you.” She’s fine now…it was just a learning curve!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. What an amusing poignant story! Your daughter sounds like a really interesting person…

    Random question: What would you do if your kid decides that they want to drop out of school? And they’re confident and happy in their decision?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I was just curious… Because… It only occurs to me now… What my parents must have felt when I insisted I want to leave school… No my mother, she supported the idea… But my dad needed some convincing…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I just told my kid my opinion. Knowledge is power, so the more you know, the better off you are. It’s not about grades. But, getting good grades will open up doors to experiences and opportunities that she might not otherwise have. But the choice was hers to make. I live her no matter what

        Liked by 1 person

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