Fetching coffee? Not in the job description

Hello, my name is William. I am an incoming sophomore at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and this summer I have been working for American Family as an intern in the Human Resources Division. This internship comes as quite a departure from my previous work experience as a lifeguard and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to experience something new.

The work I’ve encountered in my first few weeks with the staffing department has been both engaging and novel, not the stereotypical intern’s work. My responsibilities include contacting candidates to be interviewed and setting up appointments with the hiring staff. I don’t run around getting coffee for anyone!

I also believe that in these two short weeks, the people who work in staffing have truly integrated me into the department. From participating in quarterly meetings to being invited to lunch by my coworkers, I feel more like an employee and less like an outsider.

There are still many challenges and obstacles I face as a first-time corporate office employee but I look forward to overcoming these through diligence and learning. Challenges in the workplace are, in my opinion, key to keeping the work engaging.

For all of you out there in college, as one student to another: You may be apprehensive about looking to a big company for summer work. I realize there aren’t a lot of jobs or internships like this out there right now so you may be discouraged before you even start looking and, if you get a job, you may miss the free summer time that your friends enjoy. But I’d advise you to talk to your family members, friends, professors and advisors and try to find internships at companies that you might have overlooked. The benefits are greater than just a paycheck or a good line on a resume. At a new job – especially if you’re doing something that you have little to no experience with — you really get a chance to learn corporate processes and improve your working style, and you overcome challenges you never would have faced at another job. I may not get to sit in the sun for another summer as a lifeguard but the fresh look at a completely different style of work and life is much more enlightening.

And I can get my own coffee – at a discount! – anytime I want from the office coffee shop.

One Comment

  1. Arhelia
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Will you’re doing a great job! I think someone called you a godsend the other day, thanks for the help :)

One Trackback

  1. […] Intern video:”It’s been a great experience!” Thanks, Will! Will, a sophmore this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, just finished an internship in Human Resources at American Family. Listen to what he has to say about his summer at AmFam. […]

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