When a college student dreams about summer break, there is an obvious absence of three things: textbooks, all-nighters and work. For many of us, however, that just isn’t true. The common joke that employers require ten years of work experience before graduation is a fairly serious reality.
This means every summer closer to the day you move your graduation tassel to the left cannot only be spent deepening your tan on a beach in the Caribbean. In fact, it means internships — as much experience as you can garner before the real world catches you.
I spent most of my summer interning in the marketing department of Trintech. Walking into my first day, my heart pulsed with nervous energy and I made no assumptions of what my internship would be like. My apprehension was quickly put to rest, however, when I met the team I would be working with. Even though they knew very little of my abilities, Trintech’s marketing team, as well as the rest of the company, welcomed me with wide smiles and enthusiastic desires to help me learn.
My understanding of the marketing industry was very basic before this summer. Now, I have a plethora of acquired and cultivated skills, as well as many opportunities and resources, to carry with me as I head back to school.
This is very much because I wasn’t considered just an intern, but a legitimate, valued member of a team.
My supervisor and teammates each considered my style of learning as they instructed me on my assignments. I arranged and directed more of my own meetings with our global counterparts than I did listening to others’ conferences. I wrote my own content, created my own campaigns, and learned more about software and finance than I ever cared to know.
And while my internship was hard work, it was also extraordinarily fun.
At Trintech, most employees keep a Nerf gun or two hidden in their desks just in case the need ever arises.
Not only did I get to witness some of the most interesting intra-company Nerf wars in the middle of the workday, but I had the privilege of capitalizing on that playfulness to raise money for charity. The other summer interns and I organized a Nerf War to benefit the Special Olympics, raising $650 dollars. Satisfied doesn’t begin to describe the way I felt as Trintechers ran around shooting each other with Nerf darts and laughing, all for a good cause.
Leaving my internship at Trintech is filled with both great hope and sadness. For me, working at Trintech didn’t just check a box off my before-graduation-to-do list — it was an invaluable experience filled with hard work, laughter and friendship.
I just want to say thank you to everyone that blessed me with it.
Written by: Ashton Mathai