Melissa Belec, the 22-year-old Canadian intern at Reho Travel is back and this week she is sharing her top 5 takeaways from her internship.

Where has the time gone? These past 6 weeks have been so incredibly busy and stimulating that my time in Melbourne has flown by. To wrap up this series of blogs I would like to highlight the value of an internship through a top 5 takeaway list.

 

Practice for real life

Internships are an opportunity to experiment and to make mistakes. I’ve noticed that when starting a new job most people feel intimidated and behave extra carefully. As an intern, you are expected to be inexperienced and to fail. Therefore, this is the time to ask all the stupid questions and to experiment beyond your comfort zone. For example, I felt uncomfortable being assigned the task of writing this blog. I warned my boss that this would be a challenge for me and his response was “good”.

As it turns out, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to put myself out there. This has helped me gain confidence and I feel more prepared to tackle my ‘real job’.

 

Transition

Internships are important because they are a good transition from academia to the workplace. In school we memorize theoretical frameworks and formulas, but in real life you actually have to apply them! I find this particularly relevant to my field of study: Human Resources. Although we reviewed countless amounts of cases, nothing prepares you to deal with real situations involving real people. School failed to simulate the most important factor of HR – emotions.

At Reho, I was given the task to integrate several new employees and I learnt more about mergers by undertaking this project than in my 3 years of college.

 

Mentorship

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Melissa found a mentor in Reho Travel’s Managing Director Karsten Horne.

An integral part of my internship was the mentorship. I received the traditional guidance, advice, and feedback; but the relationship went beyond that because I had the opportunity to shadow and observe everything the managing director handled. Through this role, I was delegated meaningful tasks and my input was actually appreciated.

I was also exposed to very different business situations and witness how they were dealt with. Observing these meetings and the people attending them has influenced and positively shaped the business person I want to become.

 

Cross-learning

In addition to my learning, I like to believe I was also beneficial to Reho. They wanted a naïve or new perspective to challenge them and their work. I think my different background and my fresh-out-of-university style of thinking satisfied this need by constantly questioning and promoting innovation. For example, I suggested and put into place a new human resources process to facilitate the integration of employees. This was a different concept for the Reho workplace but they were open to adapting my recommendations.

 

Travel

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Melissa is looking forward to discover more of Australia.

Internships are an opportunity to get out of comfort zone, explore, and grow. I travelled the furthest possible distance from home, on my own, not knowing what to expect. To me this experience has allowed me to step away from real life and gain perspective. Meeting new people and experiencing a different culture has given me an advantage over my future colleagues.

I know I will be able to draw on my experience with Reho to make me a better businesswoman and leader in the future.

I think it is clear that I have had an out of the ordinary experience and that I have very much appreciated my time in Melbourne. I am now off on a new adventure to discover more of your beautiful country. I thank you very much for your support.

Do you remember your first internship, what were your takeaways?