By Audrey Steen, English/Sec. Education Major / McAnulty Academic Internship
As a student-athlete here at Duquesne, I find myself getting caught up in the day-to-day demands that require myself to be both physically and mentally present in what is right in front of me. My school work and athletics, like many others on campus, comprise most of my time and mental fortitude that lead me to forget about what is to come after all of this is over. I have come to realize now as a senior here at Duquesne, I feel the pressure of acquiring the skills and strategies which will allow myself to feel confident and be successful in the working world as a young professional. However, the opportunity to participate in an internship while still working towards my undergraduate degree makes me feel more grounded as I approach the end of the short time here as a student-athlete.
With the demands of being an athlete, it is easy to forget about the crucial nature of vocational practice before entering the job market, in terms of preparation for the jobs to come quite soon. There will be an end of our time here and I am confronted, every time I engage in any of the work through this internship, with the fact that there is so much more to what we are than just a student, or just an athlete; I am reminded of why I originally wanted to study English and teach it eventually to adolescents. The professional knowledge of learning how to collaborate with peers and communicate effectively through multiple platforms is crucial to producing valuable work, and also becoming a better teacher for the future youth of this country. In displaying what it means to work and learn enthusiastically to students from someone they respect, will make student more inclined to work hard towards something they are passionate about. With passion, I believe, comes the power to change; this idea allows for students to be motivated in being a socially responsible citizen of the world and build empathic tendencies for the benefit of everyone. This is why I want to teach and English is such great tool to do so.
The internship is allowing me to build skills I never had before, such as learning how to write for different platforms and create documents I did not know were so important for life post-graduation. The combination of new material and my reawakened, but not forgotten, passion for teaching is exciting me for what is to come after my time here at Duquesne. The work may not be perfect at first, but I am open to the trials and errors of learning anything new with this new found excitement for the real world; the world in which I get to be more than just a student-athlete, but a teacher wanting to create real change, one child at a time.