By: Jessica Plassman, Project Coordinator: Brand and Marketing Specialist
As our office prepares to hire the next group of bright minds for the Summer Internship in Sustainability, I wanted to find out what the current interns have to say about their favorite reasons for working at IUOS.
Here are their top 5 favorites:
1. Professional development
One of the advantages of an IUOS internship is that it prepares you for the business world. Whether you imagine yourself in a large, small, corporate, or non-profit atmosphere, you have the opportunity to experience it all. Through working with a small organization, navigating a large bureaucratic organization, and learning to develop business-to-business and business-to-customer relationships, an IUOS internship teaches you about sustainability and builds your business acumen.
As one intern says, “I think this internship can act as a really great segue from being a full-time student, to a full-time professional. It has taught me how to manage my time, hold meetings, manage people and events, etc. All while focusing in an area that I care about.”
2. Instilling change and making a lasting impact
From the start of their internships, IUOS interns are immersed in a large and very complex organizational structure that they will learn to navigate. Summarizing this process, one intern says, “Before my internship I had no idea of the complexity that goes into running IU. Through talking with the other interns and my own work I have learned more about the operational side of IU and I can better appreciate what goes into making it a pleasant campus to live and learn on.”
Producing change is an important facet of all internship initiatives. As interns acclimate to the bureaucratic structure of the university, they are able to develop and implement plans for events, research, and studies that will have an impact on driving all facets of IUB toward sustainability.
Interns agree that, not only were they initially unaware of what it takes to make IUB run smoothly and to instill change, one of the best rewards of all their hard work is seeing the operational and academic sides of the university evolve. As one intern suggests, “As an intern, I’ve had the autonomy to define my own plan and decide where, when, and how changes will be made to make IU and the community more sustainable.” Almost all interns agree that while change can happen slowly and takes a lot of hard work, “it was totally worth it.”
3. Job flexibility and autonomy
Two huge perks to working for IUOS is the large amount of job flexibility and autonomy you will have. While there are required meetings once a week during the summer, the rest of the 20 hours – when, how, and what you do to fill them is up to you. The flexibility of your hours allows you to work around your studies, jobs, vacations, etc. throughout the summer.
Therefore, the interns that truly thrive are those who are self-motivated and driven to succeed on their own. If you find that you have felt stifled in the past by limitations on when and where you work, you should consider an internship with IUOS. As one intern remarks, “You schedule your meetings and when you work. Work doesn’t mean you have to sit in a cubicle for a certain time frame, everyday. You can work from anywhere!”
Autonomy is also an important facet of the internship program. The program was designed in an effort to cultivate creative problem-solving. When you start your internship you are given a few overall goals for what the office hopes to achieve through your initiative, but plans for how you reach those goals are all your own. “Autonomy,” as an intern says, “gives you the opportunity to define your internship with your own ideas.” And another intern illustrates that “my mentors weren’t there to manage me or tell me what to do they only helped foster my creativity and my vision.” Moreover, another intern argues that “managing my own project was a great line for my resume!”
4. A sense of community and connection
While working from anywhere certainly allows for flexibility, many interns spend their time at the E-House. The office environment at E-House is a space that promotes collaboration and facilitates team-work. When you are an intern you are not alone, you have a network of peers, faculty, and staff who are there to support you and who jump at the chance to help you achieve your goals. Through attending meetings, working with other intern’s projects, and multiple events at E-House, there is always a time to connect.
When asked to comment on what she likes most about working for IUOS, one intern remarked, “The sense of community that is instilled as being part of the office. Whether it is team meetings regarding work or potlucks to just socialize, being an intern has allowed me to get to know the other interns that I would have never met otherwise. There is a sense of camaraderie that is felt and mutual respect given for all the projects.” Whether gathering for work or just to hang out, many interns find that E-House is the perfect spot to do it all.
5. Personal development
When considering a summer internship, usually the first thing on our radar as students is “what will look best on my resume.” While resume building is of utmost importance, an IUOS internship can help you develop personally, beyond job skills. As one intern tells us, “ Since joining the e-house I’ve had much more exposure to strategies and philosophies surrounding sustainainable living. The internship has taught me a lot and allowed me to think more holistically.”
Working for IUOS is an opportunity to gain further understanding and to learn to critically assess your daily decisions. Much of how we live and why we do certain things is so ingrained in us that we do not take the time to stop and think why. “Being surrounded by sustainability has really taught me to question myself and my decisions – to be critical and evaluative. I feel I’ve become healthier as a result,” says an intern.To learn more about the internship program CLICK HERE