Today, we chat with Grace McCleary as she shares glimpses into her experience as a Concordia intern.
I learned a lot about being in a workplace where people expect a lot from you because the nature of Concordia is that it’s a very small organization that has a very large footprint. Concordia expects a lot of its interns in a way that other companies say they do, but in reality don’t provide the same responsibilities. So I learned what it’s like to have deadlines and responsibilities, and how to deal with high-profile people. Having an opportunity to interact with people like Joe Biden, Iván Duque, and other high-profile speakers was great and showed me a lot about the way that politics works, in a sense that I wasn’t fully aware of. I also learned basic workplace skills—as I said, meeting deadlines, open communication, and things like that.
A programming intern mans the speaker email account, meaning you are constantly writing invitations and making sure you are paying attention to marking who’s invited, who needs to be invited, and tracking all sorts of changes. You go to a lot of meetings, where you have the ability to talk to partners or speakers, you’re very much at the intersection of those two departments. Also, there’s a lot of organization that plays into the role, which I think I should’ve expected but didn’t, so I was surprised in that sense; you always have to be balancing people’s schedules and things like that.
I’m writing a letter to the President of France right now which is very fun [laughs]…also intimidating, but very fun. I would say the opportunity to work in the green room at the Americas Summit was really great. Preparing for the Annual Summit has also been interesting because I’m working with high-level speakers that are more familiar to me than the ones we had in Bogotá.
Wonderful people, lots of programming, and delivering goals!