Behind the Scenes: Audrey, Our Amazing Summer Intern, Reflects on Her Experience
by Audrey Chew
As I am graduating in the spring of 2017, this past summer was my final chance to explore new opportunities with no strings attached.
After weeks of research, I stumbled upon an internship vacancy with Stint Ireland. They were looking for someone to help manage their community of international intern and gap year participants. Both nervous and eager, I applied for the position and got called in for an interview.
What began as an interview ended up as a hilarious hangout session with newly made friends and colleagues.
I was welcomed aboard.
As my inauguration into the company, I went through the polaroid-taking initiation of getting my photo up on the company corkboard. Just as my photo was surrounded by the smiling faces of the Stint staff and program participants, I too was at home with my Stint family.
Love, support, creativity, and a genuine interest in each others’ lives were at the core of Stint’s work culture. “Make a to-do list before each workday with three work-related tasks and three personal tasks, and try to accomplish them before the day ends,” the founder and director, Melanie, told me. Not only was she concerned with my professional development, she also made sure to check in about my work-life balance.
This motivated me to work harder as well as learn from their leadership and example.
So, what was my role?
I made sure every single one of our Stinters (program participants) in both the intern abroad and gap year program felt a part of the community through weekly events and support, whether it’s face-to-face or through our Facebook group. Personally, I was shocked that I was given free rein to schedule out the summer’s festivities.
So, the challenge: make summer fun for everyone.
I ran events that included delicious dinners, introduction to pubs in Dublin, hiking across the Dublin mountains, kayaking the River Liffey, surfing in Donegal, exploring the Aran Islands, trekking through the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Krakow, Poland, to mention a few. Not only did I bring the Stinters to explore places I love, but I also had the opportunity to rediscover Ireland for myself.
I was more than an intern.
The amount of responsibility and trust given to me by the Stint team made me feel like a full-time employee who was an essential to the company. My opinion was as valuable as the next employee’s. This, I really appreciated.
After the first month, I was given the freedom to sculpt my own internship. Being a psychology student, personality analysis intrigues me and I was eager to receive hands on experience in matching Stinters with their internship placements. Because of this, I got to be involved in both intern recruitment and internship placement, which was an absolute dream come true.
Reflecting on my Stinternship, I have never fallen so in love with a job before. Although it sounds cliché, it did not feel like work. These three months have flown by so quickly and I dreaded the end. I dabbled in things I desired, identified my strengths and weaknesses, built new friendships and created precious memories. I have developed my ability to work within a team of different personalities while getting the opportunity to travel all across the Emerald Island and even abroad!
I craved so many things – adventure, excitement, work experience, and self-discovery – in an internship experience.
Now, after interning with Stint Ireland, I can say that I got all that (and more)!