An internship is an opportunity for students and new graduates to acquire knowledge and experience for a certain period of time. It’s either paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time. This is offered to the different type of industry. Since the internship can be the start of a career and you had no experience yet, challenges are expected. You might be given lesser work or sometimes too much work. There is a time that you are reluctant to ask questions from your superior. You`re unsure if you are doing the right thing on the task and this is pressuring you. These are some problems that you may encounter during your internship periods. But before we talk about how to deal with it, let’s add color to this article by showing you an inspiring story of an intern who became the CEO of the company. Sounds impossible, but yeah, it happens to Ursula Burns.
Ursula Burns is raised from a low-income housing project of New York City, Baruch Houses and raised by a single mother who is a Panamanian immigrant. Ursula said during her interview that the three facts about her: being poor, a woman and black can be possible reasons for a lesser chance to earn the position she has now, but she continues to dream big and shows her potential despite the three strikes on her background.
In 1980, she worked with Xerox as a mechanical engineering summer intern while finishing her degree at New York University. Xerox Corporation is an international document-management and business-services company that serves more than 160 countries around the globe. The company sells products related to document technology, print, and digital document solutions. A year later, after finishing her master`s degree at Columbia University, she permanently joined Xerox as a full-time employee. She was assigned to different roles in product development and planning. In 1990, she gained her role as an executive assistant of Wayland Hicks. Wayland Hick, the senior executive at that time, discovered her potential and leadership skill and offered that twists in her role in the company. She was designated as the Senior Vice President for the Corporate Strategic Services in the year 2000, which is accountable for the operations regarding supply and manufacturing. It’s the same year where the company was experiencing financial problems. This challenge develops her leadership skills and is able to regain the losses. It was 2009 when she became the CEO of Xerox following Anne M. Mulcahy. This makes her the first black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, the largest US corporations compiled by Fortune magazine annually. This annual list is based on the total revenue for their specific fiscal year. During her term, she expanded and diversified the company’s business into different sizes of business and government in the world. She led the acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services worth $6.4 billion, the largest purchase in Xerox`s corporate history. Her term is indeed a success.
The story of Ursula Burns shows how important internships on starting our career ladder. Even though it is still an internship, it’s better to give your best shot. An internship provides a first-hand experience in the real working environment. All the theories you learn from the university will be practiced. It is a chance to flourish your skills and knowledge learned at school. During the period of your internship is an opportunity for you to display your commitment and potential to your prospective employer. This will serve as your building blocks for establishing a way to a successful career.