Written by: Aimee Agliam
After I made my decision, I had two important tasks left. 1.) Tell my placement manager, and 2.) Tell my supervisor at Basketball Ireland. I couldn’t help but feel like a quitter, that I was giving up on my placement. It really made me worry about how my placement manager and my supervisor were going to react to my problems. I was starting to believe that they were going to have a negative reaction and tell me to deal with it for the rest of my time here (obviously the worst case scenario). Realistically, I couldn’t predict how this was going to play out. I just had to be prepared for the range of possibilities.
I spoke to Tom, my placement manager at EUSA and discussed the idea of switching my internship. I was completely surprised with how cooperative he was because it would be more work to find me another placement. He let me know that if I was uncomfortable in any way, the best they can do is to take me out of that situation. It was very reassuring to know that the program has the interns’ best interests in mind. He began the search for a new placement immediately, but in the meantime, he suggested that I meet with my supervisor to discuss my concerns.
My first thought was, “Oh, great. It was hard enough for me to talk to you about it. This might be a little rough.” Of course I had to do it. I had to suck it up and tell myself what I always tell other people- You gotta do what you gotta do- a saying that I don’t necessarily live by. If I didn’t talk to my supervisor, it certainly wouldn’t be professional. Plus, I would be really disappointed in myself.
I decided to talk to my supervisor, Shane, as soon as possible to get it out of the way. Tom said that this should be no problem because Shane is a great guy and he has a very good relationship with the program. To be honest, I was pretty nervous and didn’t really believe that it would go over so well. Much to my surprise, he was right. Shane was extremely understanding about my problems. He said he knew that distance was an issue for me and that I should get the most out of my experience here. He was even kind enough to offer a reference for anything that I might do in the future. If their office were in a better area closer to the City Centre, I definitely would have stayed. Honestly, I was a little sad to have left the great people at Basketball Ireland and an internship that I enjoyed while I was there. Here are some of the lessons that I learned:
1. In an internship, be active in your experience- Let your supervisor know your interests, goals, and what you want from your internship. It could make all the difference.
2. Have a good, positive relationship with your supervisor and co-workers- These people are your resources, the people you spend at least 40 hours a week with and help you adjust to your environment. Be friendly.
3. Notify your supervisor of any concerns- Address your problems. If not, they can weigh down your experience.
4. Trust and be confident- When making decisions, you should be confident that you made them for the right reasons. Trust yourself because your experience is what you make of it. In my case, trust the internship program. Their job is to do what’s best for you and your experience.
Until next time . . . Cheers!