My name is Shreya Chhagan and I am a current senior at Chapman University. I am majoring in Communication Studies and have a themed inquiry in Leadership Studies. I am so grateful to be a student at Chapman and also have the opportunity to intern at a small local company. I interned as an assistant to the Purchasing Director at JPH Procurement this Spring semester. Let me tell you about my experience and how you too can possibly find an internship during your time in university.
I found this internship through networking; I was privileged to know this company from the beginning and help it develop from the start. By talking to various people and going to many organization meetings, I was able to find, interview, and get this great internship. I have found that networking is really important in the professional world because not only does it give you endless opportunities, it also gives you the ability to build relationships with others, which is essential in almost all lines of work.
A quick overview of what I was responsible for here at JPH includes social media management and creating as well as website development. I was also able to work alongside the Purchasing Director to learn more about the company overall. Through this, I gained access to knowledge about communications within multiple companies and how they all come together to get a single job done. I incorporated my newfound discoveries into the company website to make it more welcoming and informing of what the purchasing company is really about.
Many of my communication courses have helped me be successful in my position because I was able to apply my previous knowledge into real-world scenarios. I took theories and concepts from my persuasion class and interpersonal communication class, and applied them to how I can help this company improve their communication infrastructure. Currently in my interpersonal comm class, I learned about the Social Penetration Theory, which is how my information is given to someone in order for them to feel comfortable in creating a relationship. I especially saw this theory take place when speaking to the company’s clients and vendors; I had to speak in a certain tone and choose specific words in order to get my message across while sounding professional and engaging simultaneously.
The most valuable experience/thing I learned at this internship was how to be proactive and think outside the box. I was able to contribute many new ideas and strategies that would help the company develop through communications. Being involved in a company while applying my education allowed for me to further understand what I learned in classes as well as how I can use this experience for the future.
Some advice that I would give is to be open with options and be confident in your abilities. There are many opportunities out there and it all begins with being confident in yourself and your abilities. There will be some times where things will look dark or scary; the most important thing is to keep on applying to various places and be optimistic because the right opportunity will present itself when you least expect it!