Looking Back on My Internship: Saying Yes

This summer I interned on the Accelerating Customer Experience team at Symantec, the world’s biggest cybersecurity company. From my first day as an intern, I made it clear that my major was undeclared, but I was looking for a broad experience. I had no business or IT experience, let alone any knowledge about the cybersecurity world. In my first 8am meeting, I was given the task of redesigning an interface, something I had never done before. My brain was moving a hundred miles a minute while I looked at the screen; so, I said yes, I would be happy to help. Who knew that all of my years of internet browsing might pay off? As soon as I started working on it, I didn’t want to stop.

The same goes for every other project I worked on during my internship. Whether it was slide decks or sending out emails, each time I was driven to learn new things to finish my task to high standards, and as efficiently as possible. For interns everywhere, it’s important to know that you can learn anything. Most projects that I worked on during my internship were things I had never done before and knew nothing about. If your manager asks you to create a process flow with a crazy acronym, my bet is that you can learn more about it on the internet. In 2018, students are proficient in the art of Googling and learning quickly to problem solve, so use that to your advantage.

That’s how I realized how important it is to be open to learning and have a strong work ethic in my career. I never truly knew what that meant until my internship. Throughout the summer, I found myself really wanting to work because I knew I was contributing to such a well-known company with an important mission. For the first time in my education (yes, I consider an internship education), I was learning how much I was capable of.

Now it’s impossible to generalize everyone’s internship experience, but what I will say is that my internship is what I made it. I discovered my passion for user experience because I pushed myself to learn new things. I learned everything from what making a slide deck really requires to how difficult company migrations to new applications are. But the way I learned this was by simply saying yes. Saying yes to every project that came my way kept my hands full and my brain active. And in the end, saying yes leaves me better prepared for my career after I graduate.

So, try saying yes this year--whether you’re an intern or a full-time employee. I’m sure you will learn more about yourself and your capabilities than you ever thought possible, simply by taking on new projects.

None of this would have been possible without the faith of my manager, Angela Bhurji. When she gave me projects, she fully believed that I was capable, even though everything was a first for me. Angela, along with Sheila Jordan and many other impactful women at Symantec inspired me with their visionary leadership, something I will remember throughout my career.

Overall, I would like to thank Symantec. Symantec runs an incredible internship program that allows for student growth like I have never seen before. I am so grateful to have been able to be a part of this program. It has helped me determine my major, User Experience, make valuable connections, and learn about what a career in a technology company looks like. But, most of all, Symantec has made me want to continue working with them. When I head back to Michigan for my sophomore year, I’ll still be learning, growing, and working for Symantec; but mostly, will continue to say “yes”!

 

Images courtesy of: www.redcode.net