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Posted on November 1, 2019 at 6:40 PM by Johan Sotelo
It's the end of Week 5, which means I'm nearly halfway through my internship! These first weeks have flown by, and I'm finally feeling settled in my position. I've learned and experienced a lot so far, and at first, I thought I was only able to observe and process things because I was so overwhelmed with new information. Now that I'm feeling more comfortable and have a decent understanding of how the district runs, I can finally dive in. What I mean by that is: I can begin to thoroughly analyze not only how TDRPD operates, but also how I fit in at a recreation center.
This past week has been the hardest yet. My schedule (and me) have fallen apart a little bit as people have gotten used to having an intern around, but haven't fully embraced taking advantage of one. I've also been forgetting to make time to take care of myself, as one does when they're busy. Ultimately, having a recreation intern is a new thing for the district, and being an intern is a new thing for me, so we're both figuring it out as we go. I do hope that this internship can lay the groundwork for a future internship program here at the district, so other recreation newbies, like me, can learn by doing.
One of the things I've learned in these five weeks is how important values are in the workplace are and how rewarding this industry can be. There are so many moving parts to this organization, and it's incredible to see how they all manage to work in harmony. This is mainly in part because of how dedicated the staff is. Every person who works for the district truly cares about the people they're serving. They're able to remember what's important at the end of the day, and that's not the dollar sign-- it's the impact. I hope that as I grow as a recreation professional, I'm able to do the same. I'm only five weeks in, but I know for a fact that this is the industry I want to be in.
Running the Elementary Swim Program has also been awesome. I'm learning some of the do's and don'ts of program coordination, but I'm also having so much fun being a part of the kids' experience. I've watched some of them go from being terrified to even get in the water to jumping in without hesitation and with excitement. Some of the kids also said they're enjoying their lessons more than free swim, and if you know kids, you know that free time is one of the most enticing things you can offer them, so this is a big deal.
Thanks for reading! With five weeks down and six to go, who knows what could happen next?