What I Learned in My First Week at my Internship

Happy Sunday, readers and welcome back to The Grad Gal!

This week was my first week at my internship and wow, what a culture shock going into the ~ReAL WoRLd~. Well, not entirely, but it definitely was a lot different from the life I used to live (lol). To say I learned a lot about myself, the company I work for, and yes, what the real world is like (somewhat, I am just at the tip of the iceberg), this last week would be an understatement for the ages.

It’s Okay to Not Know What You’re Doing

If there is one thing I found out this week it is this… between my own confusion as well as the other interns, we were all extremely confused. We went to Happy Hour on Friday and the consensus was that we were all lost. However, this is a good thing. This confusion is pushing us all out of comfort zones to network, create relationships with our coworkers, and actually talk to our managers so we can get our questions answered. Personally, I see this feeling as one to push me and therefore a positive for my life. Up until now, many of us have had things just handed to us or had our handheld practically to figure an issue out. So this opportunity is helping us all grow and is making us into stronger, more prepared adults for when we do go out on our own after college.

Take a Notebook Everywhere

I have a college ruled notebook that I took with me day 1 and it has proved to be the most helpful tool thus far. I have used it for writing down my assignments and taking notes off PowerPoint slides from the team’s previous meetings so I can get a better idea of what I am working with. To give you all an idea, I am working in Information Technology (IT) as that is one of my majors. There is only so much preparation my education could give me. There is so much more I have to teach myself. Think, 2+2=4 is what I learned in college, to now I need to teach myself the quadratic formula. Not entirely hard, but a definite step up! I have really enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about technology. Even in my short week, I understand so much more and I still have eleven more weeks to go! If you take nothing from this post except for one thing, take a notebook. Look prepared. Be that ideal intern who is more than prepared.

It is Okay to Ask Questions

When I was having trouble setting up my phone, I felt like I should know how to work this piece of technology. I AM working in IT, so I should know….right? Wrong. Just because I am working on one side of IT, does not mean I need to know how to work this fancy phone. So, I sucked it up and asked for fear of making myself look dumb. Crazy, nothing happened! My co-worker was more than happy to help me and did not make me feel stupid, dumb, whatever about this situation. This is just the example that sticks out to me most, but I definitely asked some funny questions this week I’m sure, but it’s better to get the answer than mess it up because you were scared.

Keep Yourself Busy. Stay off Your Phone.

I really feel like this should be self-explanatory, yet here we are. I made sure to keep myself busy this week and kept my phone in my drawer (on silent). This kept me on task. Right now, my projects have not started too much so I kept myself busy by familiarizing myself with the technology and brainstorming other ways I could benefit the company in my short time at my job. My phone being put away really allowed me to disconnect for a while and is helping me focus more on what I should be doing instead of aimlessly scrolling through Facebook. Right now, my goal is to keep myself busy until I feel I have nothing left to do so when my boss asks me what I’ve been doing I can impress upon him all the newfound knowledge I have.

Dress to Impress

My department follows a business casual policy. Business casual seems to have many different definitions, but this company is more towards the nicer business casual. Their casual Friday’s still include polos and khakis and very few jeans were seen. Seeing as I am the only female on my team (IT departments, y’all) I have the opportunity to stand out and dress up a bit more (note-not over the top). Why? One, a full-time offer would be ideal, but one day I see myself being a manager. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. I am obviously far away from this potential position, but it does not hurt to make a great impression on my co-workers, manager, and other associates in the company. One positive interaction can influence the rest of my life so you can bet I am going to make sure I look my best every day I step into their building!

There you have it, some ways you can rock your internship. Leave a comment below if you have any other advice or words of wisdom of any sort!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

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