Internships are like cookies. Some look like yummy chocolate chip cookies, but when you bite into them they’re oatmeal raisin. Others are full of chocolate, nuts, and candies, while others can be a little bitter. Then there are the ones that are so good you swear they were from your grandma’s secret recipe. I like to think my internship was better than my grandma’s secret recipe. It was everything I could have hoped for in an internship program.
When I started my internship with C&A Industries I thought that it would be a great experience with some extra activities along the way because it wasn’t just an internship, but an intern program. I was not expecting to learn as much about myself or grow as much professionally as I did. Growing up, I did not think I had any talents because I was never exceptionally good at one subject. The Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment taught me differently. I have talents in certain areas Gallup labeled as Woo, Includer, Positivity, Achiever, and Ideation. I can see myself living out these traits every day and C&A has helped me turn these talents into strengths I can utilize at work. I also became aware of different communication styles and my specific style through the DiSC assessment. If that wasn’t enough, C&A also had us make mission statements, and that really helped me understand what I am passionate about and what my core values are. I feel like this internship expedited my development and helped me come into my own.
Personal development was just the tip of the iceberg. As a group, all of the interns were able to attend a resume workshop, engage in discussion sessions about our StrengthsFinder assessments, attend a manager’s meeting, have individual assessments with a professional development coach, and talk with top executives (including the CEO) at luncheons. On top of all of that, C&A supported us to be a part of the Intern Omaha summer program put on by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce. Intern Omaha provided social and leadership events for all of the interns in Omaha. I loved how involved C&A was in our growth and how much effort they put into helping us bloom into the young professionals we dream to be. It wasn’t just one or two individuals at C&A in charge of the intern program that were excited about our development and work at C&A – every manager and employee was happy to have us there and treated us as valued employees. The label ‘intern’ did not inhibit our responsibilities or respect from other employees. We were treated as part of the team. As for me, my payroll team became my family.
If I could change one thing about this internship, it would be that it would not have to end at the end of the summer. However, all good things must come to an end, and I have to return to school. I hope that C&A will continue this program for many years to come, that many students like myself will be able to reap all of the benefits it has to offer and discover the secret ingredient to C&A Industries’ delectable cookie recipe.
Whitney Hall is a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying Accounting and Hospitality, Restaurant, and Tourism Management. She is participating in the intern program at C&A Industries in the payroll and references department of Aureus Medical Group. In her free time, Whitney enjoys being outdoors, playing soccer or volleyball, shopping, traveling, and visiting her friends and family in South Dakota. Other than around the US, Whitney has traveled to Jamaica, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Australia, and plans to continue exploring the world.