Before I knew it the school year was winding down and it was time to begin applying for summer internships. Any of you that have ever applied for summer internships can know what a daunting task this might be. I struggled with this, as many college students tend to do, until I came across an internship posting for a position in the external affairs office for the Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA).
Many of you have heard that an internship, no matter where it might be or who it might be for, is better than no internship. With that being said I filled out the application and continued on with my search. A few short weeks later, I received a call from a woman who worked in human resources at WCAA. She expressed that I was a perfect fit for the position and we set up an interview.
After researching WCAA, DTW and my interview panelists, I set out on the hour drive from East Lansing to Detroit for my interview. After navigating airport grounds (I might have driven in a circle a time or two) and finding the building where my interview was being held I was ready to, let’s be honest, get it over with.
Upon walking into the WCAA office lobby, my nerves began to subside. I was brought into a conference room with my interview panelists to be asked the same mundane questions that you get asked at every interview. Except this time the questions I was asked flowed into a conversation. The conversation flowed so well that questions they intended to ask later on had already been answered and I walked away feeling confident. I had connected with my interview panel and learned a lot about WCAA and DTW as a whole.
The internship with WCAA was sounding more and more interesting and I walked away with hope that I would get the opportunity to grow my PR skills in such a unique environment. I wasn’t even back to East Lansing yet before I received the call that I was being offered the internship! While I had my doubts beforehand, I knew this internship would not only lead to an exciting summer, but a great opportunity to launch my career into the world of PR, so I graciously accepted the offer.
Little did I know at that time, not only would I have one of the best summers of my life, I would find a new appreciation for the aviation industry. During my internship at WCAA I learned a lot, but I made great friendships and had a once-in-a-lifetime experience as well. I was able to get up close and personal with the inner workings of the aviation industry, an industry I never thought I would be working in, let alone passionate about.
I encourage all of you to take a chance on your next internship, no matter whether you think it is a good fit for you or not. You never know what you will like until you try it and who knows, you might even surprise yourself. You may not like every internship you have but internships are temporary. The worst thing that can happen is you hate it and move on to another internship three months later.
As Marc Anthony once said, “If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.” I encourage all of you to explore and find a passion that you can grow your PR skills around so you can reap the reward of working on something that truly drives you.
By: Katie Bylin