Not "Just" an Intern

August 3, 2018

BY: Meghan Peterman

The following blog post was written by the Kendall Hunt Higher Education Marketing Intern, Meghan Peterman, about her experiences.

Sometimes the term “intern” carries a bit of a negative connotation in popular culture. We get the idea that if the jobsite was a Hollywood film, the intern wouldn't be listed until four minutes into the credits, under the role of “Crowd Member #26.”

Nothing could be further from my experience as a Kendall Hunt intern, even after only three short months. I can’t say I’m surprised. I’d heard from friends and a school advisor that Kendall Hunt treats their interns very well. But that was all I knew, and hearing good reports and experiencing something firsthand are two different matters. Time and time again, I’m pleasantly surprised at the extent to which I feel like a valued team member—not “just” an intern.

Since this my first time in an internship, I had no idea what to expect coming into it. But from day one, I have always felt encouraged to learn—to ask questions, and to ask them often. Even on occasions when I was convinced my inquiry was a silly one, I received nothing but warmth. And, as I continue to wrap my head around the intricacies of my department, I know that I can count on guidance when I need help and support and encouragement when I tackle projects independently.

Although I am constantly learning from my team members, they’re open to my input, too. For example, I’m frequently asked to evaluate letters, emails and catalogs going out to our current authors and potential adopters, and my suggestions are always considered, and frequently used. This lets me contribute to my team in immediate, material ways. Because any ideas I present are received with open minds and evaluated honestly, it means that the process strengthens and hones the skills I’m developing as I work in the field. It’s a win-win.

I’ve also found that KH values the time I spend off of the jobsite, too: they understand the demands of being a student and consider my academics a priority. At Kendall Hunt, I’m free to work around classes, and it isn’t a problem if I’m occasionally hit with a last-minute conflict. I’ve known enough people with rough work schedules—even while they were students—to know how much of a privilege this is.

While we definitely work hard at KH, we also play hard, making an internship here not just an enriching experience, but a fun one, too. KH understands the importance of breaking up the workday: it leads to both better morale and increased productivity. In the time that I’ve been here, KH has had a beanbag tournament, a summer-themed office decorating contest, a whiffle-ball game, s’mores roasting, etc. These activities have been great opportunities to talk with a wide range of people and create lots of connections, all while taking a break and having a great time.

I had high hopes entering Kendall Hunt. What I received—and continue to receive—is a positive work environment, networking opportunities and a fun and valuable learning experience. Kendall Hunt places immense significance on interns. They see the internship experience as an opportunity to help educate the network of future professionals and allow them to gain essential skills for the workplace. If you know someone who would make a great KH intern, get them on board! You can be sure that they will never feel like “just” an intern.