This past summer I was offered an out-of-state internship in Texas for six weeks, working for BIC Magazine, a company that focuses on the gas and oil industry. 

This internship taught me many things about myself, my career choices and my college journey. I think one of the biggest things that truly helped me was traveling to another state, and it’s something that I absolutely recommend.

When I first discovered this opportunity in the spring semester of 2023, I was ecstatic to hear that I would be involved with a magazine company, since I am a journalism major. Although I was happy, I was also nervous because I had never been to Texas, didn’t know a lot of people and hadn’t traveled out of state in over 10 years.

One of the main things that I was relieved about was that I could live with very good family friends of my father, who are the sweetest people I have ever met. I was truly blessed to be living with them and am thankful every day that I was able to spend as much time as I could with the Brinskos.

As the semester flew by, I was anxious for so many reasons. What if something happened while I was driving? What if I don’t enjoy the work that the company gives me? Will the family even like me after six weeks?

With the semester and half of the summer already done, I was driving into League City, Texas on July 5, 2023. All of my thoughts faded away once I arrived at the company building. I was immediately put to work, and I loved every assignment I was given.

This internship made me love and appreciate writing even more than I already do, and this experience has made me realize that I see myself doing the work that I did as an intern as a long-term career.

Even though I loved my experience and advocate for out-of-state internships, in-state internships could possibly be easier and still have some similar effects as an internship out-of-state.

My friend Julia McDow, a visual arts senior concentrating in new media and digital art, took a paid 10-week long in-state internship program for NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. 

She worked in the multimedia group within strategic communications, primarily doing graphic design, and shared her experience and how it benefited her major.

“Unlike my new media and digital art concentration, the internship was much more graphic design centered. Graphic design is still a great interest of mine, and I do that as a job on campus with Student Publications,” McDow said.

McDow continued by saying, “So it’s not out of the realm for me to do any graphic design work in my day-to-day. I knew some programs more than others, but it was beneficial learning more especially in different project settings. Doing projects for a company instead of a class caused me to change how I addressed them since in class the projects are more independently assigned then in an internship. 

“It was great to get experience like learning what to do when you’re given an assignment that is going to be used within such a prestigious facility like NASA.”

She also talked about how much the internship has helped her improve in many ways.

“I think a lot of people, like students, kind of get afraid to ask questions because they want to seem like they’re doing really well so they’re afraid to ask questions. But when you start working in a professional setting, you have to ask questions because they’re not going to tell you everything at once since that can be too much to handle just starting out,” McDow said.

She concluded by saying, “It’s okay if you don’t know everything. They want to help you. They want you to do well.”

To anybody who is trying to figure out what they want to do in life, especially for a long-term career, please check out in-state or out-of-state internships. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime that can help you in the future.