My Internship Experience
by Marissa, DO-IT Ambassador
I am a former DO-IT Scholar in my 7th year with the program. As a DO-IT Ambassador I've continued to stay actively involved with DO-IT through my online communication with other participants, recent internship, and by volunteering every year during Summer Study. In March I graduated from Highline Community College with two degrees in the Business Technology field—Administrative Assisting and Office Management—as well as 6 months worth of internship experience!
Staying in touch with the DO-IT family, even after I completed the Scholars program, has allowed me to come to staff for assistance in obtaining internships, updating my resume, and getting advice on career directions. In November I met with Tami, one of the DO-IT staff members who focuses on careers, to talk about doing an internship, a requirement for my graduation from Highline. The first question she asked me was, "Where would you ideally like to work?" I thought about it for a moment and knew, hands down, that Amazon.com was it. I like to shop for things like books/music/DVDs and knew Amazon was an international leader in online sales. Tami told me there was a possibility I could intern at Amazon! She knew someone who worked there and was willing to make a call on my behalf. I was absolutely thrilled but didn't want to get my hopes up in case things didn't work out. Luckily, this wasn't the case. Tami's contact put me in touch with one of her coworkers who was willing to meet with me.
Within two weeks of meeting with DO-IT, I found myself sitting in the corporate office of Amazon.com meeting with Glenys—my potential supervisor. The meeting went very well and I could hardly wait for a response. Later that evening, I sent a thank you email to Glenys for taking the time to meet with me; even if nothing came out of it, I was grateful for the opportunity. Waiting was the worst. It was getting close to Christmas and there were only a couple of weeks before I returned to school. I needed to have an internship site secured by the second week of class at the latest to ensure I could complete the internship hours I registered for in the 10 weeks allotted, and I was getting nervous. I awoke the morning of Christmas Eve to an early present; an email from Glenys stating I was approved and could start at Amazon.com on January 11th! You can bet I was bursting to tell family and friends my good news.
The week before I started, I got to take a tour of the company where I visited several different departments, met some of my new co-workers, and saw the office I would be sharing with a new hire. My first week at Amazon consisted of getting all my accounts and passwords straightened out. The second week, I was given my first project. I review documents to make sure things make sense to someone who is new and not yet familiar with the company. Since then, I've also made reservation changes statewide, learned how to use the copy and fax machines having NEVER used either before, created web expense reports for coworker travel reimbursements, created databases for coworker business contacts, and done filing and mail sorting.
There has been one challenge during my taking on a coworker's calendar using Microsoft Outlook. It was a little overwhelming and frustrating having never used it. I went to my supervisor and let her know that I was struggling with it. She was so glad that I came to her and asked for help and was happy to sit down and go through it with me. She was patient and understanding, knowing that my time there was a learning experience.
There are only a few weeks left in my internship. I am sad to leave but confident I have indeed learned a great deal. I've really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere at the company and the wonderful people I've worked alongside. I hope there is a possibility for full-time employment at Amazon.com, but, if not, I am grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity fulfilled and the valuable experience to add to my resume.
My advice to DO-IT Scholars and Ambassadors is don't hesitate to ask the DO-IT staff for employment/internship assistance. You'll be amazed at what connections they have!