This is my third week as an intern with a statewide Illinois Democratic organization. I’ve had a chance to develop a routine now that I’ve been around the office and familiarized myself with a lot of the work I’ll be doing. I’m beginning to see what the average day is like for an intern. It is not exactly what I expected.
I think the most striking thing about my internship is the level of self-directedness and independence I and my other interns have while working. For the most part, once we are given a project to do we are left with our work. Oftentimes, my day consists of receiving assignments from my coworkers and completing them on my own. Some of these assignments are what you would expect from an intern, picking up coffee, delivering mail, sending packages, while others are more complex and difficult. On the one hand, this level of independence allows me to learn on the job and on my own. I’m able to work on and puzzle through projects independently. I have some discretion when choosing how to accomplish a task. Each project becomes a specialized learning experience for me. On the other hand, this denies me the opportunity to work with and learn from my more experienced colleagues. While I can always ask them questions, working alongside them would give me more access to their knowledge and practical experience.