By: Rachel Chessky, DePaul University marketing and economics major ’16
Life after college is filled with many exciting new adventures; hiding one’s career path is perhaps the most exciting challenge of them all. At DePaul, each student has to fulfill the Experiential Learning requirement and one way to do this is through an internship. Furthermore, you never know when that internship could turn into a full-time position.
For Brittany Wozniak, her internship at Ronald McDonald House led to her full-time position as volunteer services manager. Ronald McDonald House provides a “home away from home” for families of children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. It becomes a place where family members can eat, sleep, and unwind in a comfortable setting blocks from where their child is being treated. Today, Brittany is responsible for the scheduling of Meal Groups, Cookie Groups, and other Family Activities throughout all of the Ronald McDonald House locations.
Looking back at her internship, Brittany realizes that being at the Ronald McDonald House and learning their mission allowed her to see what she wanted to do with her life. Internships can have a profound effect on students and allows them to develop a better understanding of their interests and potential career paths. So, when Brittany’s boss approached her with a part-time position after graduation, she accepted. One year later, she applied for a full-time position that had just become available and received the role.
Being at the Ronald McDonald House and learning their mission allowed [Brittany] to see what she wanted to do with her life.
Brittany noted that “having a great relationship with [her] bosses helped [her] feel confident going into the interview and also helped [her] transition into the new role.” Brittany was able to rely on them for advice; they also provided her with tools to help transition to the new position. Establishing these relationships is a major component of having an internship. The people you meet may have a big influence in which position you get in the future. You never know who your next opportunity may come from.
An important skill Brittany was able to take away from her internship and incorporate in her daily life was adaptability and flexibility:
“Every day is new and different and I was able to adapt to the busy environment. I became more patient when dealing with individuals both in the Ronald McDonald House and with other staff members.”
Her internship gave her the skills and experiences necessary to tackle this role in the non-profit field.
When asked what advice she would give to current DePaul students, Brittany replied, “I would tell each student to be patient, work hard, and love what you do…loving what you do and where you work will help you gain the experience and skills to grow.”
Loving her internship assured Brittany this career path was right for her. Now she has a full-time position with an organization she loves and hopes to be a part of for years to come.
This type of opportunity may be just around the corner for you. If you are searching for an internship, make sure to visit us at the University Internship Program in the Loop Career Center! For any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.