Through this blog, we will spotlight Otterbein students who are engaging in internships and professional experiences in a variety of industries and geographic locations. We will also share tips and advice on searching for internships and making the most of internship experiences.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Cordray in Colorado, Part 6: Finding Motivation

Three weeks left of my internship and I honestly can't believe it's almost over! It has been a pretty amazing 11 weeks here in Colorado Springs, but it has also been an incredibly long 11 weeks. At this point, I am absolutely ready to come home, graduate, and move on from the life of an unpaid intern! That being said, as I enter the home stretch, I can't help but feel a little unmotivated at times. This past week, I had a moment where I realized that although it is almost done, I still have almost a month of work left before I can hang up the towel on this internship. So the question is, how do I find the motivation I need to finish strong?

Here are a few things that will hopefully help me (and anyone else doing a semester-long internship) stay motivated:

1. Remember what it was like during week one. Week one of my internship was the time where I was bound and determined to prove myself. I accomplished all the tasks my supervisors set before me quickly and efficiently and talked with them in a very professional manner. Since then, things have changed dramatically. I've become comfortable in my work environment and don't constantly feel the need to prove myself. My superiors know that I am a hard worker and we've become friends - often talking to each other in a friendly and joking manner. Although this is inevitable, it also can lead to me being a bit lazy. In order to continue strong, I need to remember how I worked the first few weeks when I was still trying to prove myself and remember the motivation I had then!

2. Ask yourself how you want your co-workers and supervisors to remember you. This past week, after having a good laugh with my supervisor, I thought to myself "when this is over, do you want to be remembered as the good-natured, fun intern who made your supervisor laugh occasionally? Or do you want to be remembered as the intern who got stuff done quickly and tackled projects head-on while also maintaining a fun, positive attitude?" Sure, I will most-likely get a great recommendation out of the internship regardless of how I work these last few weeks, but I would rather the good recommendation be due to my consistent work ethic rather than my social skills.

3. Make weekly goals. This has helped me from the beginning of my internship, but it's important not to forget. When a task or project is assigned to me, it's important not to just let it sit by the wayside until I feel like doing it. Some projects I get done quickly because I like them, and others I avoid because they aren't fun (normally involving spreadsheets) - but if I set a goal to finish it by a certain date, then I feel more pressure to get it done! The best feeling on a Friday afternoon is to look at a weekly to-do list and see that everything on it is crossed off - even the boring tasks!

This blog post topic reminded me of a tip I read at the beginning of my internship. It said something along the lines of "pace yourself throughout - don't jump in too eagerly in the beginning only to be burnt out by the end." At the time, I was bound and determined to jump in eagerly and prove myself, but after eleven weeks, I do feel pretty burnt out! Following these tips and realizing that the internship is quickly coming to an end will hopefully enable me to finish strong and continue to prove to my superiors that I am a willing and hard-working individual.

As always, thanks for reading! Until next time!

Dillon Cordray
Music and Business '11

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