Last summer, I dove headfirst into the workforce a few weeks following my high school graduation. And I guess you could say I had an okay experience because I ended up coming back for a second summer—and better yet, I was able to work with them full-time.
As I enter the last week of my internship, I can’t help but feel somewhat perplexed as to where I should start my end-of-summer blog. Since this is my second summer with HSC Next, (you can see my takeaways from last summer here) I’m forced to be a little more creative with my points of reason. So, to combat this concern, I’ve put together a list of five ‘Unexpected’ Lessons this summer has taught or reinforced within me.
1. Naming a business isn’t as simple as it may seem.
This summer, the other interns and I were welcomed into the naming committee for what is now known as Create Fort Worth, a new space for entrepreneurs in the Near Southside. We were fortunate enough to join the team right when it had been formed, and we got to be a part of the step-by-step process. Our first meeting was my second day of work, and the opening of the center was the week before I left. Each week, we would convene and decide on the center’s name, logo design, and logo color—in that order. With about twenty people on the naming committee, we were able to decide on a name and logo that reflected everyone’s input and desires of what they wanted this space to represent. Being a part of a team that can bring a business to life was such a cool experience to be a part of, and it opened my eyes as to how much thought and consideration goes into each letter, shape, and hue of a brand.
2. Make the most of your work excursions
Since I was able to work full-time this summer, I was able to go to a lot more off-campus meetings and conferences with the team. Hence, I quickly learned that we have a few unspoken rules when it comes to work commutes. Taylor Swift, ABBA, or Fleetwood Mac were required on the stereo, and a post-event snack is highly recommended for the ride back. Not only are these drives a nice way to break up a workday, but the interns get to enlighten everyone with all the latest pop culture news. And if we weren’t driving places, then we were walking. This team takes free Slurpee Day very seriously, and the walk over to the nearby 7-Eleven was such a fun outing (but that could just be the sugar talking). These outings make you appreciate the little things a little bit more.
3. Get to know your campus
Over the past three months, the other interns and I were given multiple opportunities to tour various lab spaces across the HSC campus. Even as a marketing major, experiencing these spaces firsthand gave me so much of an appreciation for what HSC is instilling inside of their students and their community. Not only did I learn where certain spaces were, but I got to meet some extraordinary people while also gaining a bigger appreciation for the institution. I also got the chance to work the HSC Next table at the new student orientation, in which I was able to interact with dozens of students who were interested in what HSC Next had to offer. Both of those experiences put me in opposite roles but together showed me that I was a part of something that was bigger than myself and that everyone’s work is important to making HSC a special place.
4. Learning about yourself is a form of self-care (and for everyone around you too)
HSC Next decided to implement the Working Genius model into their team, and I can confidently say that I have never seen a personal assessment have a more positive impact on work relationships and productivity than this assessment. Rather than measuring a colleague through their personality, they assess their working styles—not by how good they are at different tasks, but how much they enjoy different tasks. After realizing that everyone on the team had different working styles than most, they were able to use that to their advantage. They were now aware of the reason behind how they worked, what they needed help with, and why their coworkers worked in certain ways. I was able to take this same assessment, and I can now categorize all my tasks by my proficiencies, competencies, and frustrations. I’m able to discern what I like to do and why I like to do it. And more importantly, everyone around me knows what I like to do and why I work the way that I do. I can’t wait to apply what I know to my academics and see what positive effects it brings out.
5. You can (and should) make friends everywhere
Not only was I fortunate enough to have HSC Next welcome me back for a second summer, but they gave me an even bigger gift: new friends. This was my first summer in which more than one intern was hired, which resulted in me having three coworking buddies with me to share the experience with. While I was able to show them the ropes, they were able to share with me their talent, time, and most importantly, their company. When I first decided to work full-time this summer, I thought I was giving up a little bit of my social life for these twelve weeks. However, these three ladies have proven me wrong by giving me some great memories- jamming out to Taylor Swift in research labs, going on our weekly lunch dates, taking our days off to visit the botanical gardens, and so many more. They’ve shown me the importance of building bonds in every environment you insert yourself and specifically nurturing the work relationships outside of the office. That’s a practice I’m going to implement throughout the rest of my career.
So, there you have it. The five unexpected lessons I learned from my second summer on the HSC Next team. Now it‘s time for me to head back to Texas A&M University and resume my studies in College Station.
About the Author
Faith Emmitte is a student intern for the Next department at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. Faith will be a second-year student at Texas A&M University, pursuing a BBA in Marketing. Gig ‘Em! All thoughts and opinions are her own and in no way reflect the thoughts and opinions of HSC.