During the course of my internship, I have had an important question on my mind, and the question is this: “What kind of an intern do I want to be”?
I considered this question at the beginning of each new week because I truly wanted to learn everything I possibly could from this experience and I wanted to be the kind of person who gave this opportunity my best effort.
I have come to the conclusion that there are three primary components that every intern (and every person in general) should possess, exhibit, and strive for each and every day.
The primary components are excellence, commitment, and perseverance. These components are very important because they are foundational which means they can be built upon.
Why excellence, commitment, and perseverance, you may ask? Excellence simply means doing everything to the best of our ability and striving to do even better than the day before. It means going the extra mile, setting the bar high, doing the extra work and research, and trying our best to do the task right the first time. We may not always achieve this every day, but we can certainly strive for it.
Commitment simply means honoring the decisions and promises (or contracts) that we have made with others and abiding by the guidelines that go along with those commitments to the best of our ability. At my workplace, the manager of our entire department stated recently, “We don’t expect you to be perfect, but we do expect you to be committed.” This sums of commitment in a nutshell.
Perseverance is staying the course until the task is completed even when we are tired, discouraged, and ready to throw in the towel. One of my previous instructors encouraged our class as we neared the end of the quarter to not “drop the pack”. He used his previous military experience as an example of this in order to keep the momentum going in his class.
These characteristics are not unattainable and they are not easily attainable either. We must work at developing them in our lives on a daily basis. When we put forth the effort, the rewards we reap from it are invaluable for ourselves and for others.
I leave each one of you with this challenge to fill in the blank below:
Whatever our roles may be, we should often ask ourselves this question, “What kind of a _________________________do I want to be?”