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Interim President Jeff Ettinger inside Morrill Hall on Sept. 20, 2023. Ettinger gets deep with the Daily: “It’s bittersweet.”
Ettinger reflects on his presidency
Published April 22, 2024

It’s time to expand your life’s scope

Why taking on an internship outside your major isn’t as useless as you might think.

As the new school year begins, many of us are introspective — reflecting on what we’ve accomplished in the summer months, and looking forward to what we’d like to do before we graduate from college.

I’ve spent a lot of that time contemplating what my internship taught me this summer. Last spring, after attending an internship fair, I was offered a costume and props internship at the Minnesota Children’s Museum  — despite being an English major. 

My first day at the job, I was a bit apprehensive — what was I doing here, devoting my time to an internship that had little to do with my field of study? 

As the summer progressed, it became clear that the time I spent at the museum was truly meaningful and productive: What were once qualms about the relevancy of the job to my education, turned into receptiveness as I tried to use the experience to learn new skills.

As an English major, the most tangible body of work that I’ve produced has been a stack of papers, but as a costumer, I was able to work in a tactile, creative field that allowed me to create a product that communicates my ideas to the world in a different way.

My time at the museum this summer showed me that I could take a large step away from the path my major had laid out for me. The point of college isn’t necessarily to study for a career — delving into others interests is equally important, even if they don’t align with your major. 

By championing curiosity, you may find a passion that was unbeknownst to you — and above all else, provides the necessary clarity and perspective that can inform who you are as a person, no matter what career you end up choosing.

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