Gaining Independence

MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2012

With a resume critique session coming up this week with my Brain Gain group, I have further assessed the particular skills I have gained through my internship with Benedict Inn. Thinking back on my experiences last week, I was somewhat surprised to realize that I have become a more independent worker.

Naturally, when I first began at Benedict Inn (as with any new position) I was slightly unsure of myself as I learned the ropes. Now, I have much more confidence in my knowledge and abilities after over four months of experience. For example, in the past few weeks, many members have been out on vacation, including our administrator and marketing coordinator, the two people who I work with most. And yet, despite their absence, I did not sit at my desk idly. I knew what tasks needed to be accomplished, such as introducing new inventory into the gift shop, updating Facebook fans with photos of our construction progress, making copies of articles for the Spiritual Direction Internship, and investigating the state of our art room (I went through so many bottles of glue & oil pastels!) During times that I had no specific task to complete, I put my “down” time to good use. I began to browse the internet for information and tips on managing social media for a business, and a non-profit in particular. I found helpful articles through basic searches, but also through others’ posts on Twitter, where I also found more interesting pages to follow (one of our newest follows is Tweet Catholic, an online Catholic community.) Conveniently, later in the week I was given more information about social media via a presentation shown to our administrator, which confirmed a lot of the tips I had learned. (I was then put in charge of providing information for a LinkedIn page that will promote the Midwest Retreat Centers group!)

So, my original hesitancy has been replaced with the ability to take initiative in a work setting. Working independently has always come naturally to me in academic settings, but I have been less sure of myself in jobs and internships, likely because I feel that my expectations are not the only ones that count and my work affects more than just myself. I am proud that I can contribute to the overall work of my office and the organization without constantly waiting around to have each task outlined for me. My goal with my next position is to take this experience with me and show my employer and colleagues that I am confident in my ability to learn and produce on my own when necessary.

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