Posted on behalf of Isoken Igbinovia, Psychology Graduate and Accelerate Your Career Intern.
“Using reason without applying it to experience only leads to theoretical illusions. Ideas derived from real world experiences lead to acquisition of knowledge, and the accumulation of time-tested principles leads to wisdom.”
― Kilroy J. Oldster
Not knowing what to do after graduating is like having an empty void that you desperately want to fill, but don’t know how to. You pass your exams with flying colours. You buy your cap and gown. You walk across that sacred stage. Take a picture with a scroll in your hand and that’s it, you’re in the Big Wide World. It is not easy to randomly choose to venture into something, especially when it feels like you do not know yourself. Where do you even begin? This is my dilemma and this is what why I climbed out of my comfort zone and challenged myself to the “Accelerate Your Career programme.” So far this has been a pretty good decision.
I chose a media, publishing and journalism focus- another big step into a different field from my psychology degree (I can’t stand statistics and hard core research). Perhaps luckily, I landed an internship with the Journal of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education at Leicester Learning Institute. I am a journal assistant and my responsibilities include developing the journal by interviewing stakeholders, identifying themes, and proposing implementable changes. I’ve done a lot within this short period of time, but what have I learnt?
This experience has definitely enhanced my team building skills. They have a lot of meetings here at the Leicester Learning Institute, with a focus on developing and improving their work. The first day, my fellow intern colleagues and I were thrust into a meeting, it really broadened my perspective on how open they can be. I always thought of meetings as numbing and places you have to be at, for the sake of it, even though it is meaningless. However, this meeting allowed me to realise that it could be very conversational, everybody was extremely respectful and there was a very approachable vibe that made me want to speak. The following meeting, I did join in doing activities, and talking. It was extremely expressive and exciting , this definitely enhanced my team working skills and developed my confidence.
I have enhanced my written and verbal communicative skills. Don’t get me wrong, I can be quite eloquent, but working with the journal has made me realise that there is much more to communicative skills than just speaking and writing. You have to consider who you are speaking to and whether they can understand you. My verbal communication with all types of people, is an area I find myself developing every day, working with this institute, I am also developing how to be more concise in my speech and writing.
When it comes to web design, it really isn’t my cup of tea. Anything technological actually freaks me out, but I have a very lovely, encouraging manager who assured me that it is easy as she taught herself most of these things. Which leads me onto the idea of stepping out of your comfort zone to find yourself, something I have definitely learnt during this experience. What does this mean? It means evaluating the reasons to say “yes” and “no”, I have learnt to stop making excuses and just do it, the worst case scenario is that I won’t like it or something goes wrong. And you know what, that’s what learning is- if you don’t push yourself, you’ll never know. So training in web design is happening, whether I like it or not, because it might lead to something wonderful.
Gaining experience and finding your skills is like writing an article for a journal, you are the author, your article is your life and the people involved in the journal are experiences. Peer reviewers and editors (experiences) can change aspects of your article (life), the same way gaining experience can change aspects of your life and how you view it, at the end of the day- or in this case three weeks- whilst you may not like it and there may be mistakes- the reflection and correction will enhance your article, help you understand yourself and your direction better.