What is an internship? That is the question I thought I knew the answer to. You should do an internship in your major or you will waste your time doing something that is different. That is the worst misconception I had about an internship. I always thought that I should only do an internship on my specific major. I spent days, weeks, and even months looking for the perfect internship. I had specific requirements, such us pay, location, field, and schedule. I was never going to find the opportunity that would help me learn more about management. The purpose of an internship is to learn and gain knowledge from other professionals in a field.
After searching for an internship, it took me a lot of time to finally be offered an opportunity. It was mostly because I was not open to experiences. I had to learn to take an internship as an experience that I could later use in my future career.
In December 3 2015, I was offered the opportunity to join Hertz as a Management Trainee Intern. When I received the opportunity, I was super excited to finally start an internship. My professor Lonny Butcher had taught all his students how to get an internship. The word internship was the only word I would hear every time I would do professor Lonny’s assignments. I would also hear of people that had amazing opportunities with big name companies, and I wanted the same.
Being a Management Trainee Intern at Hertz requires a person to sell. Just because the position has the word management, it does not mean that the job is only about management. I had never pushed myself this hard. Sales is an industry that I never had an interest. If anybody asked me about being a sales person, I would tell them that I would consider this as one of my least desirable jobs. As soon as I started my internship with Hertz, I was learning something new every day. I was pushed to achieve sales goals, manage a branch by myself, and drive nice cars. Well, I enjoyed driving the latest Mercedes-Benz. It was hard to transition from an easy customer service environment to a more aggressive one. I was working at the county library before my internship, so it was a different environment. As time passed, I was expected to maintain my sales goals, and it was hard for somebody like me that had no sales experience. I got to a point where I did not even want to continue my internship because money was not motivating me to achieve my numbers. Money is the first motivator that a company offers anybody to join them, and that was not working for me.
In this internship, I learned how to sale, and I also learned the process behind it. However, I learned something that no company can teach. What motivates me in the workplace? There are three things that I have found that motivate me the most, and none of them include money. The three job satisfaction factors are coworkers, the work itself, and purpose.
- Coworkers: I found that I cannot be without coworkers because I love to talk. I love to form relationships with different people. During my internship, I was most of the time managing a branch myself, and there were no other coworkers around me. Most of the time I would only interact with my coworkers over the phone.
- The work itself: Working in sales was different for me, and I did not really have a big passion for it. I think that an individual must have a passion for whatever he or she wants to do. The work itself has a lot to do with my overall motivation because I want to do something that I enjoy doing.
- Purpose: I realized that I always like to see the purpose or ultimate goal of everything. This is what motivates me to do my best every day in life. I think that the manager’s job is to show the team the big picture, and it involves describing the purpose of performing tasks in an organization. During my internship, I learned that as a sales person, the individual must find the meaning of their work on their own.
Overall, the opportunity to work as a Management Trainee Intern was a great experience. I may not want to do it as my future career, but this opportunity has helped me see what I really love to do. I learned that my motivation comes from more than just money. I love to work with people to help them solve difficult problems; moreover, that is what I want to do for my future career. I learned that an internship is just a part of somebody’s journey, and this is the opportunity to learn and decide which path to take. The end result of my internship was learning more about myself, and I do not regret on taking this opportunity because now I have better understanding of what I really want to do in the future.
UCF College of Business