What I’ve Learned During My Internship

by Kyle Leahy Walsh

When I started my Internship in August, I really had no idea what to expect. I’ve never had a job before, so this was a new experience for me. Having Autism has made school very, very hard for me over the years. I don’t believe I would have been successful at school if I had had the responsibility of a job on top of that. Now that I am getting close to finishing my degree, this internship was a really good experience for me.

I’ve been drawing since I was about 6 years old. I’ve included one of my Mom’s favorites with this column. I drew my version of “Gofur’s House” when I was 8 years old (I really hated to color when I was younge, so thank God for Photoshop). For the most part, drawing makes me feel calm and happy. I have had to meet deadlines in the past, but it was one deadline at a time to complete a T-shirt design or to have an artwork finished to donate to a charitable organization.

Having to meet a deadline for 15 weeks in a row, as well s keeping up with my other classes was a new experience for me! As stressful as it was at times, I learned a lot from this experience, especially about meeting deadlines. Some of the more important ones are:

  • It’s critical to be very organized to do a job like this well.
  • If you aren’t successful at time management, your stress level is going to increase and, unfortunately, this happened to me a few times during the semester, but I survived (barely).
  • Asking for assistance, clarifying my assignment, or seeking guidance saves you time and energy and makes you more successful, not less.
  • I needed to be more aware that the students at FSCJ are a diverse group with different backgrounds, ages, abilities and responsibilities, such as families and jobs and I hope I showed that in my pictures.
  • Setting realistic goals by determining the number of drawings I could finish was a key factor in meeting my deadlines.
  • I’m not the only student who really hates deadlines!

As this semester winds down and we’re getting ready for the New Year, I’d like to say thank you to Dr. Troy Johnson for allowing me the opportunity to write this column for my Internship class. I’d especially like to offer my gratitude to Professor Liz Murphy-Thomas. Last year, she and Professor Julia Dearibba-Montgomery suggested that I consider drawing and writing a column for “The Campus Voice” for my Internship class last year. She has been my advisor this semester and been very helpful with her suggestions and guidance.

I was very flattered to be asked if I would continue to contribute to the student newspaper next semester even though my Internship is completed. I said yes once I knew the deadlines wouldn’t be so close together! I hope you’ve enjoyed my cartoons. I wish you all a lovely, joyous and peaceful holiday season and only the best in 2016. Happy New Year!