The life of an intern is mostly composed of accepting everything that you do not know, having more questions than answers, and learning how to network along the way. In the Fall of 2019, I began my journey as an intern working for the Wimauma Community Development Corporation located in rural unincorporated Hillsborough County. As a graduate student earning my Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, I was equipped with a theoretical understanding of community development, economic development, and land use. However, in the beginning, the research I was tasked with emphasized what I did not know and as a result highlighted my insecurities as a young professional.
Normally, I would have ignored these emotions in an attempt to continue pushing forward. Luckily, Connect For More (CFM) was there to act as a support system for my professional and personal development. I was encouraged to voice any feelings of overwhelm and was provided with resources in a variety of mediums. Through those encounters, I learned the value of taking care of myself in a world that mandates maximum efficiency. My lifestyle as a full-time student with multiple employments and extracurricular responsibilities glorified a busy lifestyle but left little room for reflection let alone a deep breath. However, busy is no longer my measurement of success.
I am currently embarking on the second semester of my internship and the things that I do not know are no longer frustrating but empowering. My classes give me an in-depth knowledge of planning while my work for Wimauma provides me a real-world context to apply those lessons. I have the opportunity to think outside the box and share my findings with community stakeholders. My experience as an intern through Connect For More has been more than a talking point on my resume but a lesson in communication, balance, and persistence.
Dominique Boyer is a graduate student in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of South Florida. She was born and raised in Detroit, MI but considers Tampa her second home. She earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with concentrations in Political Science and Africana Studies from USF. Dominique is equipped with a wide range of unique experiences from being a sister of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. to facilitating diversity training for USF staff and students. Her time at USF and her experiences as a young professional emphasis her dedication to servicing and supporting communities in need. Upon graduation, Dominique plans to utilize her skills to create comprehensive solutions for combat complex community problems.