By: Daniel AbuJaber
The LEGIT summer internship program has quickly become one of the most notable elements of the summer of 2019 for me. Something that I initially thought to be something that would take away valuable time for me to study pleasantly surprised me with the valuable skills and lessons I learned from my time in it. As I am approaching the end of my time in the program, it is clear to me that the\ time I had has turned out to be just as, if not more, valuable than the time I’ve spent alone studying, working on personal projects and practicing music.
Currently, I am working under Josie Falletta in the San Marcos Main Street Program, which helps to promote local business and maintain the lively downtown area. The project on which I’ve been working on for most of my time in the program was helping to develop the business log which is to be used as a database for a new system in development. I would go from business to business asking for a supervisor or manager to take a few minutes to provide some information about the owner and the business. It was in its own way a science; subtle changes in the words in the introduction or the explanation for the purpose of the survey could drastically increase or decrease the chances of being able to get in contact with someone. It also involved reading the room, seeing how busy the staff were and how many clients they would need to take care of. There were several factors, and each business was different; the whole thing was very dynamic, as the evaluation of what to say or do took place in real-time. Having gone through several trials of this process, I feel as though I gained experience and now feel that I have a better intuition for these decisions than before.
One aspect in particular that I found enjoyable about the Main Street Program is that it acted as a sandbox for me to see how several organizations coordinate and communicate amongst one another. I was glad that my introduction to this sort of environment wasn’t also accompanied by several large responsibilities and tasks. I was dipping my toe in the water rather than being kicked from the nest and being forced to fly, which was a much less stressful environment that I felt was more conducive to learning.
Another thing I found enjoyable about my experience at the Main Street Program was the sheer hospitality of the people there. It was clear that they made a conscious effort to treat all the interns, such as myself, with a sort of respect that isn’t so common in other places, especially larger firms. Even though I was just a high school student, I was trusted with responsibility and felt very welcome in the office. Overall it was a nice balance between responsibility and not being entirely too liable for mistakes.
The experience was incredible, and if I have the time I think that I would do it again next year. don’t think I could have asked for a better environment for learning the ropes of the modern workplace.
Daniel AbuJaber is an incoming Sophmore at San Marcos Academy and completed his LEGIT Internship on August 7th, 2019.