An Intern’s Perspective: Finding Out What You Don’t Want

Author: Jacob Gustafson
Major: WLC Business Major
Internship Company: YMCA

One of the reasons I wanted to take an internship during my Spring semester of my senior year was because I was unsure of what I wanted to do after college. I had previously interned at an insurance company but wanted more experience to help determine my career focus. As a result, I pursued a finance intern position and found one at the YMCA in downtown Milwaukee. I wanted to see if working in the finance department of a company was something I would enjoy.  So, I had 15 weeks at the YMCA to see if this kind of work interested me and if I was good at it.


Coming into the job, I really had no idea what to expect because I had never worked in an office setting like this before. I was ready to learn and observe what working in finance might be like. When I first started, many of the tasks that I was assigned were basic and gave me beginner experience as I got to know the people in the office and learn the culture. As I progressed, I received more comprehensive projects and needed to complete them with minimal supervision. Being able to stay on task and manage my time were my biggest strengths. Since I worked a different schedule than the rest of the team, I was responsible for completing projects on my own time.

This internship prepared me for the real world but not in the way that most people would expect.

This internship gave me an idea of what kind of work I do not want to do. I did not have a bad experience working for the YMCA but I realized that this type of office work is not for me. I am glad I took this internship because I would rather find out what I dislike while still in college instead of graduating and ending up with a job I do not like.

Even though this role was not for me, I still recommend it to other students. The job offers exposure to what it would be like working in the finance department of a not-for-profit company and gives experience that may not be found in a traditional classroom setting.

The head of the finance department did a great job teaching me all of the things that I wanted and needed to learn.  I highly recommend it to someone who is unsure of what they want to do with their finance degree.


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