I had originally planned on moving on from my lifeguarding job and getting an internship this summer. I applied for some and interviewed for a few, but I did not end up with an internship. Looking back, I see that this was for the best because I learned so much through my other experiences.
First, I learned what it is like to go to a real job interview. Interviewing for an internship is very different than interviewing for a job as a lifeguard. Thanks to the passport events and presentations I have attended here, I had a good idea of what to do and what to expect from the interview. I traveled to the interview, updated my resume and did some research on the company to prepare. And although I admit that my interviews did not go as well as I would have liked, I am glad I had the opportunity to experience a real interview. By not getting the internship, I realized that my interview skills need work. Now I am motivated to do better next time.
I also learned how important it is to network. I knew I needed to do more than just lifeguard over the summer, so two summers ago I reached out to a hockey coach who is a family friend. He gave me an opportunity to intern for his program, and it was a great experience for me. I never would have gotten the opportunity if I had not taken the time to send him an email. This taught me that you should not be afraid to reach out to people who may be willing to help you.
Another thing I learned is to take advantage of the opportunites that I have. I was asked over intersession to help out in my church office. I had always been involved in my church, but I was not sure if I wanted to work there. I ended up taking the job, and to my surprise I loved it. I even returned to work there over the summer. This job was my first real encounter with working in an office. If I had said “no” to working at my church, I would have missed out on a great job and some valuable experiences.
Finally, I learned that if you work hard, any job can be worthwhile. I did not get the job I initially wanted, but I had a few jobs that taught me very much.
Next time I am in an interview and I am asked to talk about my previous jobs, I will be able to use examples from lifeguarding, my hockey internship and working at my church. Although I did not spend my summer the way I had originally wanted to, I had several valuable experiences that I hope will benefit me in the future.