As any first-year MLHR student will tell you, the hunt for an internship starts the minute that classes begin. For some of the lucky, the search is over as quickly as it begins, with an amazing offer from an international organization. For others, the search is a bit more time consuming.
Last year I was in the latter half, continuously prowling for that all-important internship for months. I was so delighted to get an offer early last spring with GE’s local Circleville Lamp Plant. We may not be the “sexy” side of GE with aviation or energy, but we do make an essential product: linear fluorescent lamps.
I started working part time for CLP in April, continued as a full-time employee for the summer, and will work for the plant part time this school year. During these past fews months I’ve seen my responsibilities increase, and my knowledge of HR continue to grow with each one.
Now I feel like I’m at that proverbial fork in the road. I have enough work to fill out a 40-hour week during my 20-hour schedule, and school is back in swing full time. Unlike other well-stressed students, I can’t function as both a full-time student and full-time employee (and mom and wife). More and more I want to spend extra time at work…but there’s always a nagging feeling that chapters are not getting read, papers are not getting started.
In some ways, this is a “Cadillac” problem. It’s a balance between two good things: the opportunity to learn in the classroom and the opportunity to learn on the shop floor. And there are always examples of people who not only pack it all in full time, but also find time to run student organizations and be well rounded in more ways than I can even imagine.
Thoreau said he went to the woods so he could “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” What a great image for grad students! As a second-year student, I understand the urgent need more and more to live deep and learn as much as I can soak in for as long as these next few months may last, whether in the classroom or in the business world.