BEEP BEEP BEEP

July 28, 2011

BEEP BEEP BEEP.

6:30 a.m. Ten more minutes. If I skip breakfast, I can sleep 10 more minutes.

BEEP BEEP BEEP.

6:40 a.m. Just 10 more minutes. Surely I have something to wear that doesn’t have to be ironed.

BEEP BEEP BEEP.

6:50 a.m. Five more minutes? Would anyone notice if I was late? Yes, those papers aren’t going to clip themselves.

Welcome to the real world.

My internship this summer has been one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. I have learned how to write media advisories, press releases, make follow-up calls and assemble research for a client. I’m no longer terrified of transferring a call, I use the copier with confidence, and I have mastered a mail merge in Microsoft Word.

The most important thing I have learned this summer is something I thought I already knew. I’ve learned the importance of accountability.  Accountability starts with the first alarm beep in the morning.

As a habitually late sleeper, having to be somewhere at 8 a.m. has been a challenge. I’ve had my share of early classes, but that doesn’t mean I have experience waking up early. The difference this summer has been accountability. If I decided to catch up on my sleep rather than going to class, the professor wasn’t going to suffer any harm; the only person affected by my beauty rest was me. I knew sleeping in meant borrowing notes from someone and reading the chapter on my own time to stay caught up. If I missed a pop quiz one morning, I accepted that I would do an extra credit assignment to make up the missed points. College taught me how to hold myself accountable for my actions; work has taught me that other people are going to hold me accountable, too.

Accountability at work means I wake up before my alarm on Monday mornings for fear of oversleeping and missing staff meeting. Showing up may be half the battle, but this summer has taught me about the other half. Working in a fast-paced PR firm requires more than just showing up:  You are held accountable for the work you do while you are here. Unlike my professors, co-workers depend on me to do good work, and their time is affected if I don’t. I’ve learned how to prioritize deadlines among projects and the importance of following up with supervisors. I know that if I’m unable to finish something because I didn’t prioritize, I will have to answer to someone, with no opportunity for extra credit to make up the lost time.

The things I have learned about accountability this summer aren’t lessons I would have come across in one of my textbooks. I have gained real-life experiences that I know will influence and benefit me in my professional life to come. They may help this fall, too, when I’m not quite as accountable to the alarm clock as I am right now.

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One Response to “BEEP BEEP BEEP”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Wonderful, Bailee! Having had three go through college, I really identified with every step. Love the way you write. Continued success this fall, you mastered this internship step!


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