Nursing Major, HR Intern: 3 Things I Learned Interning Outside My Major

We all have to face the all too familiar question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” at the most inopportune times. It made me crazy, especially as a high school sophomore. I just got my license! How would I know?!

As I look back now, as a college senior, I realize how different my life could have become while making those early career decisions. Initially, I thought I wanted to study business, but I settled on nursing. After dragging my family on tours and road trips to see business schools I realized (thankfully) that life behind a desk wouldn’t suit my personality. I believe nursing was the right choice for me and I’m very grateful that I realized in time to apply.

While studying abroad in Australia this spring I had difficulty setting up a nursing oriented job for the upcoming summer. Through a family member I learned that an executive search firm close to home was looking for a summer intern. My old curiosity about the business world kicked in and I applied!

Interning at Gatti & Associates this summer has proven to me that:

  1. You’re more capable than you think. I jumped into my summer internship with no previous business experience or education, yet I’m still standing! I knew my way around a computer, understood social media, had decent research skills, and I knew how to act professionally. All of this got me further than I expected. Every new job involves learning. Whether it’s how to navigate the culture of the office or sort lists in a database, every challenge is a new learning opportunity. With patience, perseverance, and hard work, they’re achievable no matter your background.
  1. A job and a career are wildly different. Job experiences are the parts, but your career is a sum of the parts regardless of how diverse those experiences are. Writing style, communications skills, problem solving, and job delivery accumulate into a career. As most people have experienced, jobs come and go as well as change. If you look back at all the jobs you’ve had, that is where your career lies. What steps brought you to where you are today? My job as an intern for an executive search firm will definitely have a positive effect on my career in the future.
  1. Career and education are an ongoing and inter-woven process. Sure, bettering my clinical skills would have been a valuable way to spend my summer, but what I have gained from Gatti & Associates will take me further in the long run. Understanding fundamentals such as “what does human resources means” and “what goes on in day-to-day office life” is something every college student should experience, no matter what they major in.

So my simple advice, with all the wisdom that a college senior and soon-to-be rookie nurse can muster, is to look at every challenge as a learning opportunity. What initially might look like a decent summer job could be something that sticks with you for a very long time.


Written By: Charlotte Ozirsky

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