Greetings, all! My name is Elise Wallis and I am thrilled to participate in the Cleveland Foundation Summer Intern Program this year. I recently graduated from Baldwin Wallace where I majored in Political Science and Public Health with a minor in International Studies: National Security track. As someone who has dedicated almost every moment of her day to academics the last few years, I am looking forward to applying the skills and knowledge I have gained to my position in this program. In regards to my internship position, I will be working in the Human Resources department at the Cleveland Metroparks. I began my first day at a meeting on diversity in a room overlooking the elephant exhibit in the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo where I got to periodically glance at Willy enjoying a morning snack. Definitely started the internship off on the right foot!
Looking back to before I accepted this position, I remember being confused as to why I was chosen to interview with the Cleveland Metroparks for an internship position. I had envisioned working at a number of other potential host sites, but the Metroparks was not one of them. I mean, I was far from being a nature enthusiast and had no background in Human Resources. However, after reading carefully through the job description, having a positive interview experience, and starting on my assigned project, I have begun to see why. The Cleveland Metroparks intern in responsible for creating a Cleveland Metroparks Internship Handbook and streamlining related policies and procedures. This position not only requires focus and an eye for detail, but also an understanding of how to formulate rules and regulations. Although I possess these qualities, I dismissed the position too quickly based on my superficial assumptions. I am glad that the internship hiring managers at the Cleveland Foundation accurately assessed my skills and identified a position where I could hone my strengths.
While I have always had a tendency to view myself as a part of only certain job sectors or in certain careers, I have begun to realize that this narrow-minded thinking places unnecessary limits on your potential growth. If I have taken away anything during the first few days of the internship, it is the importance of letting go of a well-defined view of self and trusting expert opinion.
Each week we use this space to give each of our interns a chance to reflect on their internship experiences. Elise is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University. Placement: Cleveland Metroparks