What I Learned as an Intern.

As my tenure at Firewood comes to a close, I thought it might be a nice exercise — or if anything, some good writing practice for when I go back to school in the fall — to reflect on some of the things I have learned these past few months.

Unexpected skills I learned as an intern at Firewood.

  • Feeding a really big family. I finally empathize with my parent’s shock and horror when they would come home from work to see that my sister, myself, and our friends had eaten all the groceries they had just bought the day before. Us Firewoodians like to eat, that’s for sure.
  • Assuming the role as in-house technician. Since being here I’ve learned probably too much about computer hardware. No joke, I was at the electronic store the other day and I genuinely got excited when I discovered a new type of cable. Like highlight-of-my-day excited. Honestly, if you want to “wow” me forget flowers or chocolate, buy me some cool cables.
  • Talking back to robots. I have become a pro at maneuvering my way through customer service hotlines, and interrogating robots until they transfer me to a person. “I want to talk to a real human. Human person. No robot. Please put a real person on the line.”  If you are persistent enough they will cave.
  • Becoming an aspiring graphic designer. I got a taste of the Creative life when I helped out with some of the design and layout for our blog. Although it was work that designers could have done in their sleep, I was ecstatic to be able to help out and learn a new program. Thanks everyone for bearing with me those first couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll switch majors??

No, but in all seriousness I am so incredibly grateful. Grateful for the obvious work experience, but more so for all the little (and big) life lessons that I have collected over the last few months. Everything from getting better at writing professional emails, to learning how to interact with different personalities and figuring out the type of work environment that works best for me. I will apply, and continue to develop, the interpersonal skills I have learned, particularly when it comes to communication and mediation. But also, and perhaps more importantly, I was able to grow my intrapersonal skills in ways unimaginable. Navigating the world is not always so cut and dry, but I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a group of people that have grounded me. I was supported and challenged and trusted with a great deal of responsibility, giving me the comfort and confidence that propelled my professional and personal growth.  So thank you, everyone here at Firewood. You all have been more than accommodating, and you are the reason why this is such a bittersweet see-you-later.  You guys have not only been wonderful co-workers and peers, but role-models and friends. I’m leaving with a full heart and belly (those good-bye cupcakes were so yummy). Thanks for making Firewood my home, and such a happy memory.