In surfing the internet over the winter to find a more profitable job for my boyfriend when the company he worked for went under, we came across an advertisement for UCC. He said, “This one isn’t for me, but it sounds like something that would fit for you.” Upon researching the opportunity, I thought, “What harm could it do to apply?” I applied, and the next thing I knew, I was in the office talking with the lovely administrators there, and walking out with my first summer internship. A few weeks later, I left for a semester abroad in Vienna, Austria.
Following my semester abroad, I returned and jumped right into work. Next thing I knew, I was on the side of a highway in Illinois in heels trying to keep up with my leader. What had I gotten myself into? This was the farthest thing from what I expected; but I was ready to take the bull by the horns and see just how much I could stretch my limits over the course of a summer. After all, I had done 4 ½ months as an exchange student in Europe – I had to give this my best shot.
In the beginning, I focused all of my efforts on my student mentality, primarily in sales. I learned that although sales seems like a difficult profession, when you work hard, success will follow. The field became my classroom and each of my clients became teachers. I was attending five 10-hour days of school per week with 40-80 short classes per day. My law of averages on learning valuable lessons increased seemingly infinitely, and my knowledge from the field reflected it.
Upon my promotion to leadership, my student mentality became a teacher mentality. I loved the opportunity to begin learning management techniques, since my major is management with an emphasis in international business. I had already increased my knowledge of marketing and consulting quite a bit, but now I was working on the knowledge for my major. UCC was such a safe environment to learn new skills, because everyone wants you to succeed. I met so many wonderful people through my experience with interviewing and training. It’s truly beautiful to see someone succeed, because of a skill or set of skills you helped them develop and perfect.
I do not regret this accidental discovery of UCC one late night in December a few weeks before my departure abroad. Although I did not understand the gravity of what I’d be doing five months later, I also did not know how much I would learn from this experience. You can’t learn self-development in school the way you can through raw experience in the real world. I learned about parts of me that are strengths, and I can hone those strengths to increase my success in the future and attain my goals. I also learned parts of me that are weaknesses, and I can focus on those weaknesses with specific solutions to increase my success in the future and attain my goals. Ultimately, I am exponentially closer to reaching my goals through just the couple months I spent with UCC.