Stephen is a rising junior at Northwestern University.
When I interviewed for my internship, I was asked why I wanted to work with MPH@GW, The George Washington University’s new online Masters in Public Health program. I said I wanted to learn—to be in a supportive environment in which I could develop my skills in every way. I felt like that was something MPH@GW offered. It seems that was the right answer…for the time being—I am now eight weeks into my summer internship, and have realized most of the goals I set at the start of the summer; however, I would definitely describe why MPH@GW was the right place for me differently than I did eight weeks ago. I no longer say I have learned—I now say I have gotten an education. Working in education has compounded my own growth and development over the past two months, as I have been surrounded with wonderful people in an intellectual environment in which it is our only goal to provide education without boundaries.
As an Inbound and SEO marketing intern, I have learned some of the most menial basics of outreach development to the more complex aspects of Conductor workspaces. Everything that I have learned has been extremely important to my professional development, but that has definitely not been the most important part of my internship. Every day, I am motivated by the fact that I am working for the education of others, and their education serves as a catalyst for my own.
Everyone keeps asking me what my favorite part is. I always answer, “the people”—the people I work with and the people I work for. The people I work with have a single-minded focus on how to provide the best educational experience. They not only do it for the students at MPH@GW, but they also do it for me. I learn something new every day and it is almost like my office is a classroom. I fully attribute this to the fact that we are working with education. As we work, we don’t simply turn on our interest for education and turn it off when it is no longer relevant. It is a constant part of what we do on a daily basis.
This leads me to the people I work for. I am a rising junior at Northwestern University and I have enjoyed every second of my college experience. I never imagined that a similar experience could exist online. MPH@GW, along with its partner, 2U, Inc., have created a platform in which one of the best Master in Public Health programs is offered online and no part of the experience is sacrificed. As an intern, I have worked as a small cog in the whole machine that makes the program possible, but my entire experience has been defined by the bigger picture of what we work for. Each of my colleagues began working with MPH@GW with the idealistic view that everyone qualified should have the opportunity to receive the education they deserve, regardless of boundaries and borders. Once I got here, I realized it was not so idealistic, and I have joined the frontier of academia at ones of its most groundbreaking times. As the academic experience takes a step forward, I am doing everything I can to keep up. At the end of my internship, I will certainly be at a different place than I was at the start.
I have dubbed the past eight weeks as “My Internship as an Education,” because I have not only worked to provide an education, but I have worked to receive one. Needless to say, I have learned a lot.
Stephen, thanks for taking the time to share this with us! Students, start searching for an internship now!