Happy Monday and welcome back to another installment of the best sports lifestyle blog in the world, Carters Call! I appreciate all of your feedback throughout the summer. All of your anecdotes about taking "Mental Ice Baths's" and defeating the "Microwave Mentality" are what motivates me to continue blogging (be sure to check out my "The Microwave" & "Ice Bath" blogs)! From the bottom of my heart, I thank you!
As the summer comes to a close, and students across the country are preparing to embark on new academic pursuits, I felt that it was the perfect time for a student specific call! Many of you had the opportunity to spend your summers interning with some amazing companies. I know that internships aren't always the sexiest experiences, but hopefully you spent a majority of the time learning the intricacies of that industry. Regardless of whether your internship was paid or not, the most important thing is that you found something that you want to do for the rest of your life, or vice versa (which is sometimes even more important). With each call throughout the summer, we've equipped ourselves with tools to help us progress and make the most of our internship experiences. However, this week's topic is typically the differentiator between a good intern and a great one. This week we will discuss the best practices when commencing an internship experience and the immediate days afterwards or what I like to call the "postgame".
In sports, the way a coach and or athlete conducts themselves during the "postgame" or the period immediately following the conclusion of an athletic contest, reveals more about their character than their actions on the field of competition. As fans and spectators, we are often critical of athletes and coaches that exhibit unflattering behavior "postgame"; remember Cam Newton after Super Bowl 50? Newton received ample criticism throughout the offseason after walking out of his press conference, prior to fielding all the questions from the media. Newton's last impression distracted the masses from the facts that he had won MVP of the league that year, leading the Carolina Panthers to a Franchise record-breaking season and widely being recognized as the best football player in the world in 2015. It was as if all his hard work and accomplishments were irrelevant. If careless, the same fate can be realized by an student or employee whom mishandles the "postgame" their internship experience.
To avoid a Cam Newton-like fate, you must enact best "postgame" practices. For example, in the immediate moments after a game, you often see competitors shaking hands on the field and exchanging personal pleasantries as a sign of sportsmanship. Once the players have exited the field, they congregate in the locker room to privately evaluate their performance as well the final result with their coaching staff. Finally after a few moments of reflection, they are interviewed by the media and must articulate their takeaways and experiences from the game. These same practices can be applied to your internship experience. As an intern during your final days in the office, personally thanking those whom have contributed to your experience shows gratitude and humility and is a sign of professional sportsmanship. Additionally, you should request a meeting with your direct supervisor to evaluate your performance throughout the internship as well as the results of your assignments or projects. Lastly, in days immediately following, after you've had time to reflect, you should articulate your takeaways and experiences through a hand written thank you letter to the company and your direct supervisor(s).
In sports as well as life, we rarely remember how we started but we always remember how we finished. Our "postgame" behavior dictates the narrative years after we have moved on in our lives. What we remember most from Super Bowl 50 is Cam Newton's behavior at his postgame press conference, not his MVP season leading up to it. How will you be remembered at your internship? Will they remember you for the great works you did throughout your time with the company or will your work be overshadowed by your "postgame" behavior?
Until next time.
- Christian A. Carter