By Lauren Shur
When I was looking for an internship this summer, my career advisor mentioned that I should apply to Campus Greensboro. Campus Greensboro is a program created by Action Greensboro to help prepare college students for their professional careers and inspire them to live in Greensboro post-graduation. I thought this sounded like a good idea, but there was one potential problem: My career advisor told me about the program just a few days before the application was due. I quickly applied to the program and submitted my résumé and cover letter to multiple organizations in the area. I never thought that this last-minute process would lead to me learning an extensive amount of information about myself and this wonderful community. Here are the top five things I learned from my experience as a Campus Greensboro fellow:
- Be yourself in interviews. I applied to three different internships through Campus Greensboro. All three employers reached out to me for an interview. This gave me the confidence to believe in myself. I went into each interview and fully showed who I am as a person and tried to have a normal conversation. In one interview we even talked about how Kim Kardashian is now in the AP Style guide. After showing my personality in each interview, I was offered the position from all three employers.
- The best kind of learning is learning through experiences. Through Campus Greensboro, I have had first-hand experiences that are different from anything I could learn in a classroom. All of the fellows participated in a two-day training from the Center for Creative Leadership. The games and activities we completed helped me learn more about myself and others so that I can become the best leader I can be. Also, fellows meet every Tuesday night to participate in different activities around Greensboro. Each activity has helped me learn more about myself and others. One day, one-third of us went to SkyWild, a treetop adventure course, where I used the leadership skills that I had been taught to help my friend face her fears.
- One can learn a vast amount of information from others’ experiences. Campus Greensboro provides each fellow with a mentor from the community. Because there are 106 fellows, some mentors are paired with two mentees. I have a co-mentee who is a year older than me and we have become great friends. My favorite part of the mentorship is learning about the ups and downs of her internship experience. She is interning at a hotel learning about customer service, event planning and hospitality. Her organization is larger than mine and it is interesting learning about how she can make herself known in a bigger organization. She also is graduating from college in a year and is giving me good tips on how to prepare for post-grad life.
- Informational interviews are extremely advantageous. I have been able to learn about networking and do some networking myself through Campus Greensboro. I have started to ask people more questions about their careers and how they got to where they are today. For example, this summer I met my friend’s uncle who is a creative designer and website designer for his own marketing company. I was able to use my skills to learn more about how he got to where he is today, what software he uses and about the creative side of marketing. This information is beneficial in helping me to figure out what career path I will take in the future.
- Midsize cities bring a variety of fun activities and a sense of community. I am from Atlanta, which is very different from Greensboro. I am used to a large metropolitan area with activities occurring frequently. I originally thought that a smaller city such as Greensboro would not have as many activities to take part in over the summer. Luckily, I was proven wrong. Greensboro has a plethora of fun events and activities as well as great places to eat. The best part about Greensboro is that city’s small population creates a large sense of community.
All in all, this program has helped me to become more confident in my abilities and learn more about myself as a young professional. I have found new ways I can continue to improve my skills. As a rising junior, I have to make a choice in a couple of years about where I want to work. I am constantly searching for a spot that will feel like home. This summer led me to see the incredible sense of community that Greensboro has. While I may not ultimately end up in Greensboro, I now know that I want this sense of community wherever I go. After this insightful summer, I can now call Greensboro my second home.