image1My internship at the Metropolitan Drug Commission proved to be a valuable, growing experience. I had the opportunity to learn from Deb Huddleston who serves as the Media Relations and Project Director at MDC. Working with Deb has given me a “real world” experience that has helped me acquire the skills and knowledge that are necessary as a rising professional.

Looking back on the past few months, I understand now that I went into this experience more naïve than I realized. I never knew how much there was to learn outside of the classroom and how much I would learn about myself. As an intern, I’ve become a stronger writer and researcher. I’ve learned to write content for blogs, newsletters, social media and other promotional materials. Becoming a more comfortable writer has helped me with my time management.

My biggest challenge was developing my communication skills and raising my confidence. My time at MDC really tested my confidence, and during the first half of my internship, I quickly learned that I was intimidated easily. This experience has helped me get practice, feel comfortable and confident. Being outside of my comfort zone was a challenge that I needed to overcome. It was probably my biggest learning experience as an intern. Although I still have a lot of growing and learning to do, the skills I’ve learned throughout my time at MDC will carry on with me wherever I go next

Aside from the professional skills, I also learned a great amount about MDC as an organization and the efforts the organization puts into the community. Prior to this experience, I wasn’t aware of the extent of East Tennessee’s drug epidemic. Hearing stories from speakers about their addiction journey, as well as visiting Cornerstone of Recovery, were eye-opening experiences that I would not have been able to learn from if it weren’t for MDC.

Through guidance and assistance from Deb and the rest of the staff, this internship has contributed to both my personal and professional development. Overall, my time at MDC was a learning experience that I am appreciative of. It has taught me lessons outside of the classroom that I will continue to carry with me.