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The Successful Internship: Personal and Professional, Reaction Paper Example

Pages: 3

Words: 725

Reaction Paper

As I reflect on my internship thus far, it may be that the most striking quality of it to me lies in how the identified stages experienced in general parallel my own. I realize that the research and ideas employed by my source are developed from extensive study. At the same time, there is something mildly disturbing about finding one’s self virtually repeating patterns of response expressed by many. We all, I believe, prefer to think of ourselves as unique in all ways, including how we react to a process of internship.  Nonetheless, I accept the reality of the stages and how they reflect my own internship, and the following briefly explores these stages.

To begin with, my internship is with a law firm here known as X, specializing in trade. My duties were made clear to me at the start, and they primarily ask that I research U.S. regulations, Congressional notes, and public laws on specific issues. Additionally, I am expected to research and present new regulatory requirements, as in the Food Safety Modernization Act  (FSMA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to the firm’s attorneys and staff, and identify key issues addressing regulatory requirements and their application to corporations. Chiefly, my initial month with the firm has involved my focusing on the FSMA. A seminar is being held in October and my research will be a pivotal part of this, and this is a responsibility that has been emphasized to me, as well as one I find motivating and exciting.

As I perceive it, I am currently in the Confrontation stage, or Stage Three.  I recall vividly, however, the feelings generated by the earlier stages. When I first was granted the internship and before I began working, a virtually infinite number of emotions and thoughts consumed me, and not a few of these were based on fear. This is, again, by no means unusual: “There are enough unknowns in the experience to cause some concern and anxiety in anyone” (Sweitzer, King 51).

I certainly had concerns as to my ability to meet the firm’s expectations and please my superiors. At the same time, however, my anticipation stage was also, I confess, marked by a fantasy quality. I suspect this was my way of counteracting the anxiety, through permitting myself to imagine performance that would draw the firm’s admiration.  Thankfully, beginning the work put an end to this stage, as anticipation must give way to reality.

Certainly, I am as well aware that my Stage 2 Disillusionment was based on the anticipation I felt before entering into the internship, as is often the case (Sweitzer, King 52). In a very real sense, it was at this stage that my earlier fantasies were greatly weakened. It was not a matter of my not performing my duties well; instead, I had imagined the law offices as more exciting, and I was compelled to accept that trade law, in plain terms, is based on a great deal of rote study and research.  In a matter of weeks, however, I became accustomed to the pace and the environment, and gained a more “real life” perspective.  This in turn allowed me to engage in my research in a more relaxed way, and consequently take pleasure in simple interactions with others working at the firm.  If the stage is somewhat inevitable, then, it is also instructive.

At the Confrontation stage now, as mentioned, I am pleased to affirm that few real issues are in place.  I understand that this stage typically involves some measure of conflict, either internal or based on interactions.  I have, however, the great advantage of knowing how and when my hard work will be employed, and this very much lessens any issues going to confrontation.  I confess that there have been moments when I felt that communication was lacking regarding a specific duty.  At the same time, however, and as has been identified, these moments demand that I assert myself in an appropriate manner and gain the information I need.  Consequently, the Confrontation stage is very much about opportunity, and about means of personal and professional development.  Essentially, my internship experience to date is promising, and I am in fact relieved to feel myself successfully passing through the identified stages of the experience.

Works Cited

Sweitzer, Frederick H., & King, Mary A. The Successful Internship: Personal, Professional, and Civic Development. Belmont: Cengage Learning, 2008.  Print.

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