The Internship Experience: Week 11

As my time interning at The Principal is nearing its end, I can’t help but wonder where the summer has gone. While this isn’t exactly a comforting feeling knowing homework, tests, and studying are just around the corner (less than a month away!), I’m finding it to be a good sign due to the saying “time flies when you’re having fun”… although I also believe that the word “busy” could be substituted for the words “ having fun” in this phrase. However, I do think that in this case it is both for me – this summer has been very busy but also very fun and rewarding due in big part to my internship experience at Principal Financial Group.

While it may be nice to be out by the pool everyday and to sleep in during the summer, having an internship is a much better experience and a much better way to spend your time at this stage in your life (in my opinion). The knowledge you will gain from just seeing how a company runs and the amount of networking that can take place during your time there is something that you cannot get from a textbook or in the classroom. And, if you’re lucky enough to get paid, that’s just an added bonus.

Never pass up an opportunity to gain more knowledge and a better understanding of your major or career choice. If you’re worried about missing out on some summer fun because you’ll be at work all week, there is always time for fun after work and on the weekends (and at work!). Or, if you have the flexibility like we do at The Principal, you could work four 10-hour days (like Thomas does) and be able to have one day a week free to enjoy the summer. However, if you search hard for a company whose values align with yours, whose products/services interest you, and who has a position available for your major and/or your interests, and you’re lucky enough to snag an internship or land a job with them, then you won’t be worrying about other summer activities that you may think you’re missing out on. I’ve found that because I enjoy working at The Principal that I don’t feel like I’m not having any fun during my summer just because I’m stuck in the office and I don’t dread being at work.

Take chances and work hard, but have fun along the way. A dip in the pool on a week night after a long, hard day’s work or on the weekend after a long, hard week’s work will be that much more enjoyable and rewarding. It’s all about what you make of your experiences and the time you’ve been given for your life, and it’s up to you to pave the path for your future starting now.

Amy is a graduate student at Iowa State University pursuing her Masters in Accounting. She's currently an intern at The Principal Financial Group working in Individual Life Accounting. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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