Well, I would first like to start off by saying that I am thankful for the opportunity to write my first blog post as the capstone to my Internship experience at the Wellness Center. The type of internship that I proposed from the beginning was a multi-faceted internship that hadn’t really been offered before at the Wellness Center. It included getting exposed to different business processes within the administration plus the Indians for Medicine (InMed) intramurals program that I was also assigned to lead, as the head supervisor. Some of the specific areas that I focused on included HR, Marketing, and Operations, important meetings, plus planning and implementing the InMed program.
The InMed program was my main project and I am extremely thankful for being assigned it. At first I was really nervous because I had to give two presentations, one of which was in front of 100+ students, and then also having to figure out how to run the program. However, the presentations went really well giving me a huge boost in confidence especially after getting an ovation after the student presentation. The main reason why this project was so beneficial is because it really utilized management skills and proved to me that I really am capable of managing and that it isn’t just the title of my major. I had to plan ahead to schedule employees and problem solve when there weren’t enough employees. I planned games and coordinated times, stations and when to switch stations. And, probably the most stressful but most fulfilling experience was when critical thinking came into play. There were times when the way I had stations and times planned fell through at the last minute, so I was given the challenge to come up with a plan by collaborating with the great Wellness Center Counselors that was provided. Overall, it was a success and really boosted my personal confidence in what I can achieve.
The other half of my internship that included HR, Marketing, Operations and important meetings was just as fulfilling because this enhanced my learning, discussion and brainstorming skills. I first went around to each area of the administration and interviewed them to see what their duties were and what it took them to get there. I was then presented with some reading materials to work on when not attending meetings or working on the InMed planning and implementing processes. The reading materials were: “Meaningful Workplaces, Strengths based Leadership (I actually bought this since it was highly recommended) and some text provided by the operations executive that gave basic tips on what is needed to run a health club.” All three materials were extremely beneficial because “meaningful workplaces” preached finding your passion as a career and how to promote this at work as a manager; “Strengths Based Leadership” had me take a test showing my strengths and promoted how important it is to find your strengths and build on them and then finding people that have your weaknesses as strengths to create the ultimate team for work; and finally the last text was more of a “how to” in running a facility. So, all in all my bases were covered on the learning side of things offering areas in organizational leadership, personal leadership and specific management tips.
In the marketing section of my internship I was given a full scale look at how all the programs of the Wellness Center are promoted along with all the communication tools used to hear personal feedback on the seven dimensions of Wellness (particularly blogs haha). Plus, I was given a project that really enhanced my creative skills in writing brief stories to help exemplify what is needed to improve Social Wellness. It was a great project and I am extremely glad I was able to put my personal input into it.
The last and probably second most important aspect to my internship aside from the InMed project was attending executive meetings. I was able to sit in on some meetings that took a strategic focus on how to improve customer service at the Wellness Center plus give suggestions from my own experiences in customer service on how to offer exceptional service. I was given the opportunity to sit in on a program development meeting that took a look at past programs, how they fared operationally as well as budget wise, and were given the opportunity to discuss ideas there as well.
Overall, my Wellness Center Internship was amazing! The Wellness Center truly believes in developing students! They provided me autonomy in brainstorming what I thought was needed in my internship experience as well as partnering such ideas with additional projects from the administration team. The most substantial part that I took away from the internship is how I was able to really put my personal ideas and thoughts into play towards real projects and programs at the Wellness Center. This is what really gave me confidence in my ability to critically think and to finally know that I am ready for the real world and can provide solutions to problems applied to real situations. I highly recommend that students do an internship that really establishes opportunities to let their thoughts flourish in solving real world problems and coming up with innovations for the future. By doing so it gives individuals the confidence they need coming out of college giving them a sense of confidence that even in a tough economy they can still pursue and achieve what they want by putting their mind to it. You truly can do anything you put your mind to!
- Written by Daniel Stookey