Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Internship Presentation

One of the biggest milestones for most interns is the internship presentation. Usually, graduate-level interns make a presentation about their duties and responsibilities during the summer. Blue Shield was no different.

This year, instead of just having internship presentations, a whole day dedicated to the interns was created. Interns and their managers all trekked to the San Francisco headquarters location (including those working in southern California) for the day. The morning consisted of intern presentations from both graduate and undergraduate interns.

I was one of those graduate interns presenting. There was time for only about half of us to present, so when the time came for volunteers, I was quick to respond. My prompt was to talk about my internship and be creative, all within a 10-minute timeframe. One of my weaknesses is that I tend to make my presentations more informative (read: sort of boring and packed with info) rather than creative and fun. (Of course, the best presenter can combine the two aspects, but I’m certainly not there yet.) So, making my presentation creative and interesting was probably the hardest challenge. My compromise was putting in some cute clip art and talking about my internship more on a broad scale, rather than get bogged down in the details.

And I underestimated how nervous I’d be! The room was much more packed than I anticipated (about 40 people were there, including managers and recruiters, along with the interns). And not only was my supervisor there, but her supervisor and her supervisor’s supervisor (still with me?) were there, too. Oh, and so was a GSM alum, who interned at BSC and became a full-time employee upon graduation. All to see my presentation!

Well, overall, my presentation went well. I rushed through it a bit, but not bad overall. And my supervisor was sure to do the big nods of agreement as I was talking (always nice to see audience members nodding along when you’re presenting), and raised her hands up high to clap for me at the end. (In case you can’t tell, I was lucky enough to get a great supervisor for my internship.) So it ended well.

After lunch, we headed over to the Embarcadero YMCA to do some volunteer work. I was on a committee of interns to spearhead the community service aspect of the day, and had been coordinating our contact with the YMCA, so it was an exciting opportunity. Almost all of us (managers included!) went up to their roof to work on their rooftop garden, where we created – from scratch, mind you! – self-watering planter boxes. Drills, nails, and wooden boards galore. The YMCA staff was incredibly helpful in coordinating this opportunity, so much thanks to them.

After dinner, we all went down a few blocks and had dinner at Buca di Beppo, a family-style Italian restaurant. Overall, despite some nerves in the morning, it was a very fun day! In fact, word spread far -- for a good week afterwards, I had other employees coming up to ask me about that day and our activities.

Blue Shield is known for having a great internship program, and this day was very indicative of it. If you are lucky enough to be deciding among internship offers, be sure to ask about how they support their interns. How is their internship program set up? What activities do they offer? Are there opportunities for the interns to meet one another or learn about the company?

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