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Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer Intern Conference - Day 3

Written by Maria Rivero
Assurance Intern
Fort Lauderdale, FL

As I sit in the Chicago Midway airport waiting to return home, I reflect on the amazing experiences I had at the Intern Conference. I look around at a few of my fellow interns, who I now call friends, and feel nothing but gratitude. It is hard to capture the feeling of achievement and self-discovery that this conference left in all of us, but as I hear the rest of the girls around me talk about how much fun they had, I feel quite inspired to give it a try.

My alarm goes off every day at 6:30 in the morning. Any other day, the first thing on my mind would have been: “It’s time already?” This morning, as my alarm went off, I woke up with a feeling of excitement, wondering what was in store for us.  I arrived at the Q Center two days ago with a carry-on bag full of high expectations… and a few business casual outfits. This morning, as I packed it all away, I realized that all those expectations I brought with me were greatly exceeded.

Today all the interns had the chance to become partners…yes, partners! (for a couple of hours, at least). We not only had the chance to build our own partnership in a simulation, but we learned the importance of a strong strategy to succeed in a market. Success cannot come about without knowing who you are and understanding those you are trying to serve.

My favorite event of the day was the presentation of our keynote speaker, Joel Zeff. He has an incredible power to reach people and share meaningful lessons through laughter. His presentation was based on a series of improvisation games where a few interns (the very brave ones), stood up in front of a full audience and made us laugh until we were almost crying.

He conveyed to us the importance of our “TA-DAH!!!” moments, which are those moments when we celebrate our achievements. Self-motivation is the key to passion, and decisions made with passion are bound to be good ones! 

One of the most important lessons I learned from Joel’s presentation is that the key to success lies in helping others succeed. It is important to establish a common goal and facilitate success for others. One of the simplest and strongest ways to do this is to provide positive support; we all need it, and we often do not get enough of it. Opportunity + positive support = full potential of success.

Without a doubt, the intern conference is an incredibly thought-provoking experience that will make you take a deeper look at yourself and make you question what you really value in your personal and professional life. I am now looking forward to putting my experience into action, and hopefully influencing others along the way. I will begin by giving a “TA-DAH!!” to McGladrey for investing so much in the personal development of their people, and another big “TA-DAH!!” of encouragement to you if you have decided to seek an internship with McGladrey, because you are about to embark on amazing journey!

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