Meeting Expectations

Before I started my internship at the Office of Academic Appointments and Internships (OAAI), I truthfully did not have any expectations beyond wishing to have a positive experience. This meant that there was room for growth in either direction, good or bad. I wanted to begin my journey with the OAAI office without major expectations because I wasn’t sure what type of projects would be available to me or what tasks I might be given. I am happy to report that my experience thus far has exceeded any expectations I would have unknowingly had and given me more confidence as a professional.

As I reflect on my experience so far as an intern, I have come to appreciate the opportunity I have had to see a small fraction of the mechanics it takes to run just a portion of the Smithsonian. It has been an eye-opening experience to watch how the different offices within the units work together, how certain processes are conducted, and the sheer number of moving parts it takes just to coordinate the various fellowship and internship opportunities that are available at the Smithsonian.

While this semester has just begun, so much has already happened, and I am excited to continue my partnership with the OAAI office. I have resumed my role helping publish blog posts for the Smithsonian Voices blog and maintaining communication with the interns and fellows that wish to publish a blog. Additionally, there was talk last semester of possibly creating a new project with StoryMaps. This semester we have now added that project to our list and have begun working on it. The goal of the project is to be showcased on the new OAAI website and provide current and future interns and fellows with information they might be seeking. We’ve made excellent progress in the few weeks since we have started on it, but there is still much work to be accomplished. It has been exciting to use a digital storytelling tool that I have little experience with, and I cannot wait to see the finished product.

I think now that I have a good foundation in my internship, my expectations are a little more well established. I expect to work independently, maintain a good workflow on each project, and receive assurance that my input is valuable to the work environment, to name a few. Each of these expectations has been met and continues to be met as I continue to move forward. I believe that such expectations are not only good for me as a student, but will be necessary as I move into my professional career.

As I continue to learn and grow as a person, student, and intern, and I look forward to seeing where this semester takes me!

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