The gym isn’t the only place we’re seeing gains: My internship with the Federal Reserve Bank

Megan Lutz, junior in public relations, stands outside the Tenth District of the Federal Reserve headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. Lutz interned this summer in the public affairs department at the Omaha Branch. Photo courtesy of Lutz

Name: Megan Lutz

Year in School: junior

Major: public relations, English

Position: public affairs intern, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City – Omaha Branch

In my high school personal finance classes, we learned how the Federal Reserve has our backs. The elusive Fed was to keep banks in check and some other things we didn’t really get into.

I never imagined I’d ever intern for the Fed, let alone know what they actually do.

All of last year, I was hunting for the perfect internship. I didn’t just need something that would work for my 499A class credit, I wanted an internship I would enjoy showing up to each day and would offer a rewarding experience as I navigate the murky waters of “future plans and goals.”

After some intense Google-ing, I stumbled upon the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. I applied online and after three rounds of phone interviews, a thorough background check and a drug test, I was able to accept the internship position in the Public Affairs Department.

And it hasn’t all been as easy as it sounds.

There were times when I had no idea what I was doing, when I was "winging it," and when I was freaking out.

By the end of each week, I end up absorbing more information than I think possible. I’m learning things through receiving formal instruction, trying them for the first time and also adapting when things don’t go as planned.

This was a very “hit the ground running” internship and a culture where everyone is dedicated to learning in all capacities.

I’ve never met so many genuine people who were interested in what I had to say or my insight, even though I was just an intern. I was doing real work at a fast pace.

The greatest lesson I learned from this internship was to say yes to new opportunities and embrace change. When someone asked me if I could work on a new project, track information down or get something done, I was on it. I maintained this attitude even if it was something new for me. This helped me in the long-run by allowing me to better adapt to being in a new or unfamiliar situation, and overall, learning more about public affairs and the bank itself.

This internship has been a whirlwind of new experiences with every day being something different and offering an opportunity to learn something new.

There were days when I was running around Kansas City at the district headquarters, and then there were days where I read the same papers more than five times hunting for errors.

I got to meet Mac, the bomb-sniffing dog, and so many more interesting people. I tweet about Nebraska’s housing market, education resources and agriculture. I went from watching presentations on global agriculture to watching counterfeit currency sorted in the money museum.

To make this internship even more of my own, I had the opportunity to take the lead on my own assignments and work with a team of interns on an innovative project.

It’s going to be weird at the end of the summer to not come back here every day. I’ve not only networked and built work relationships, but I’ve formed a connection and friendships at the Bank. I’ll be able to walk away with more than just a portfolio, including knowing what the Fed actually does.

Vote for this blog post in Round 2 of the 2018 Greenlee Summer Intern Blogging Competition. Voting opens at 11:59 p.m. CST on August 8 and closes at 11:59 p.m. CST on August 15. The author of the post that receives the most votes will receive the $50 Amazon gift card.