Not what you thought it was going to be?

By Danette Kapler

Have you ever been really excited about something, and then end up feeling disappointed when it was not all you had hoped for?  Have you ever had that happen in a job or internship situation? I have definitely experienced that feeling and know how disheartening it can be. But, here are some things I learned about dealing with a less than desirable situation at a job or internship and how it may actually end up helping you in the end.

In the summer of 2008, I was looking forward to interning with the Media Relations team with the Waterloo Bucks Baseball club. I had been a sports fan my whole life and grew up in Waterloo, and so the position seemed right up my alley and could possibly be what I wanted to do in my future career. I knew this wasn’t going to be like interning with the Chicago Cubs or anything, but I had high hopes for the experience I would gain, the people I would meet, and the fun I would have being at the ballpark.

If you think back to the summer of 2008, the news story that dominated the news in the state of Iowa was the horrific flooding that occurred all over the state. Waterloo did not get as hard as places like Cedar Rapids or Iowa City, but the city did suffer its share of damage. The baseball stadium was one of the sites to suffer. The flood was much worse than predicted, and the entire baseball field ended up going under water.

Over a month later, after the river returned to its rightful place, we worked tirelessly to clean up the stadium from the muddy and disgusting river water. The front offices were completely destroyed as well as one of the concession stands, the visiting locker room, and the merchandise stand. The main focus became getting as many games played at the stadium as possible. It was a long, difficult summer, and with all of the chaos of the flood, I was unable to get all of the experience I was hoping for.  But I may have ended up getting more valuable experience than I sometimes realize.

Working for the Bucks first of all showed me some crisis management. I was able to witness how the general managers handled the situation and did all they could do to try to savage the lost season. I also learned how to work independently.  Dealing with the disaster of the flood left my supervisors little time to worry about what I was doing in writing press releases or compiling pre-game notes.

If you ever find yourself in an internship that may not have been what you thought it would, or if a flood-like situation comes along to potentially ruin your experience, don’t let it. Make the most out of it. You never know what may end up coming from a situation and what it may add to your experiences. It may not only build your resume but also build your character as you begin your career.