Why Should You Consider an Internship After College?

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Why Should You Consider an Internship After College?
By Lindsey Flax

Deep down being diagnosed with a medical/and learning difference was challenging to interpret. Personally, I did not fully grasp the idea of what 22q was. Eventually, I went to a counselor to explain the deletion - one knowledgeable in this field to draw examples of how 22q can work. To give you a backstory I was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot. My body underwent many surgical repairs on one of my valves. In surgery, they closed the hole in my heart and opened a narrowing of an important valve so blood can flow through better. Spending several weeks at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Emory Campus I had multiple exams, and one big open heart surgery done by Dr. Kirk Kanter. During the surgery, a FISH test was performed that detected that I had 22q deletion syndrome. My family enrolled me in learning disability schools and I was fortunate enough to attend Beacon College. Beacon is the first accredited college offering four-year degrees designed around the needs of students who learn differently. The program offers both bachelor and associate degrees in an environment specifically created to help students thrive and engineer amazing, abundant lives for themselves. Completing a degree in Psychology and Studio Arts, led me to graduate with a full-time internship at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden through The Smithsonian. This was a huge milestone. With a life dedicated to disability and psychology knowledge gained through my program, I was able to obtain a title called The Katzenberger Art History Intern All-Access Programming. Recruited based on my teaching artist practice, the role was to be in charge of the studio activities curriculum portion for teens with cognitive learning disabilities in a two-week summer camp at The Smithsonian. Led by great mentors in college and during my internship, I am now in the search of applying for jobs. In the meantime, I am an education intern at The Institute of Contemporary Art Miami - yet again working in museum accessibility.
These internships have taught that volunteering and interning is a very valuable professional development experience. In college, it is normal for students to say that they do not have time with busy schedules to truly experience an internships or because it isn’t accessible. When I came out of school, I knew I did not have enough “job skills” such as office administration work or maintaining a larger logistical project.

If I had to give one piece of advice for those about to graduate college, network with your professors/or someone who is not your parents and layout thousands of unusual crazy options. For example, it could be being someone's personal assistant or volunteer at a museum for two months during the summer. It is all about asking questions and planning ahead. Finding a mentor is also key - setting up a go-to person to vent to will allow you to release your thoughts and they can help your worries. Its okay not to know where you are heading. Keeping up with these internships has given me a peace of mind and confidence knowing that I am much more confident four years ago. It has allowed me to practice on elevator pitches and interview skills for potential future jobs and so much more! I look forward to hearing what everyone is doing after graduation. No matter if its trade school, taking a gap year, volunteering, or traveling I wish the best of luck!