A Look Back From a SkillPath Summer 2018 Intern

Internships. Every college upper classman has a love/hate relationship with them.

Whether it’s searching for the perfect match or starting on your first day, stress and excitement come as we approach the “real” world. The expectations can be high. But in reality, not many of us know what to expect.

One of the best feelings for my junior year of college, was knowing early that I had a summer internship waiting for me at SkillPath. That’s because the opportunity presented itself in the fall, which at first was confusing. “Isn’t it way too early?” I thought as I was sending in my resumé. But once the interview finished in November, SkillPath offered me a position and wanted an answer by December 1. Without hesitation, I knew that there would be something special about a company that was proactive about getting their interns. I accepted. This early start also gave me a chance to figure out where I was going to live (since I wasn’t a Kansas City resident), and I was able to communicate with different employees and mentors to answer questions I had before I started.

As summer approached, I started imagining what the 11 weeks at SkillPath would look like—my expectations for this summer project and what I would be doing day-to-day for eight hours. It was hard for me to draw a picture of what it would be like, because I had never worked full time or worked in a corporate environment.

I went into the first day with an open mind, excited and eager to learn.

The first day at SkillPath was awesome. They called it “orientation day” which we all really needed. This day gave us the opportunity to learn about SkillPath, our individual projects and their expectations of us.

Throughout this entire 11 weeks everyone was always so excited that we were there. Working in an environment like that made coming to work easy and very fun. One specific 8-week project I worked on as the Webinar intern, was reproducing a Webinar from start to finish. This challenge, along with many others, pushed me and the other three interns. At the end of the summer, we also had the opportunity to present our projects to the executive team and talk about our experiences. The three important lessons for me: 1) always ask questions, 2) never stop learning and 3) have confidence.

Some of my favorite things included:

  • Having lunch and learns—each week we would meet with an executive member from a different department and learn about what they do and what their team does.
  • Sending us to a day seminar on emotional intelligence. This gave us the opportunity to see exactly what seminars are all about.
  • Including us in company-wide activities, like going to their Family Fun Night at the T-Bones and including us in the monthly birthday/anniversary celebrations.

My absolute favorite part has been the people. The employees have been willing and excited to help. This made it easy to ask questions and be curious. Because of this encouragement, I learned so much more than I could have ever imagined. I am so thankful for this opportunity, and SkillPath will always have a place in my heart. Overall, SkillPath has completely exceeded the expectations I had for an internship. I couldn’t have imagined this summer even in my wildest dreams.

 

Kaylee Burkhiser is one of four interns SkillPath employed in summer 2018. This blog article was her final assignment in the “real world.” We wish her the best as she heads back to college to complete her communications degree at Graceland University. Recruitment for our Summer 2019 internship program is about to begin. If you or someone you know is interested, contact Stacey Parker at sparker@skillpath.com.

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