Diary of an Intern, Episode 3: Taking Initiative

11/12/13 4:00PM

This morning was horrible. I was stuck on a project again. But thank god! It was finally lunch time! I needed to take a break, otherwise my brain would not function properly and I would never be able to finish this project. I grabbed a can of diet coke and a bowl of salad then went straight to the cafeteria. As expected, there were not that many people there since everyone seemed to be having lunch in front of their computer. But whatever, I was dying.

I looked around and tried to find the best spot. I scanned the whole room and I saw someone. Someone I know, and he was looking at me too. Oh no, that’s my manager Richard! Obviously, he wanted me to sit with him. Bob, your career is officially over. You are probably the laziest person in Richard’s eyes. I finally sat down with him but surprisingly he didn’t blame me for sneaking out for lunch. Instead we ended up talking about the project that I am working on and I just asked him all the questions I had. He explained the project to me thoroughly and we discussed some issues that were debatable. I was so happy since I could finally finish the project. Also I realized that people want to help you, but they are busy too. You just need to know the timing and be patient. Put down all the questions that you have and ask them at a good time. I am finally getting the hang of this internship!

After lunch, everything seemed to go on the right track. Even though some projects that I had were challenging, I managed to finish them on time with help from other co-workers. I also made some close friends and I enjoy my job more now. I feel like I have more control on my job right now so I really want to do something big. I already have some ideas in mind.  I want to make the process for some projects more efficient. I know that we need to send out a lot of emails to clients but the way that they do it is definitely not efficient. We can use mail merge instead. Who should I talk to? How do I make them listen to an intern? What if they don’t like it? God, why is there always problem in front of me?

Diary of an Intern, Episode 2: Learning My Limits

10/28/13, 2:45PM

When I finally made it to the office to start the first day of my internship, only one thought filled my mind: my career was officially over. I was half an hour late on day 1; way to make a first impression, Bob! After I regained my breath, I decided to calmly explain the circumstances to my supervisor and own up to the responsibility. He was surprisingly calm and seemed impressed when I offered to stay overtime that day to make up for my lateness. One thing is for sure: I am going to give myself extra time on my commute from now on to avoid this issue.

It has been a week and a half since then, and thankfully, I haven’t been late again. Now I can just focus on getting used to the job and my new environment. The office is built like a maze, and I feel embarrassed when I have to ask full time staff for directions. Everyone seems so busy, tucked away in their cubicles. I always worry that the clueless intern will only interrupt their workflow. Instead, the staff is generally warm and welcoming.

The workload is finally picking up. I’ve been working on a few projects from my team’s senior staff. I know I can handle this – after all, I’ve been juggling classes and activities at Baruch.

This is starting to be a little overwhelming. I have been stuck on a problem for hours and I can’t figure it out for the life of me. It’s hard to balance between work and meetings – I was almost late for a meeting today. Sometimes I wonder if I can really handle all the expectations they have for the interns. Will I ever get comfortable in this new place?

Diary of an Intern, Episode 1: The First Day

10/15/2013  8:30AM

I can’t believe it. It’s 8:30AM, and instead of being in the office, on the my first day of my internship, I’ve been stuck on the subway at Atlantic Avenue for the last thirty minutes.

That soft female voice repeats for the fifth time, ”There’s train traffic ahead of us. We apologize for any inconvenience.” Inconvenience? Seriously? Inconvenience? My whole future is stuck here, between stations! I remember talking with my friends how important the first impression is, and that it starts with being on time. Now, I myself am late. It is even more upsetting because I actually did all the things they recommend to do before the interview or the first day of work. I mapped my company’s location; I even made a trip there to time how long it would take me to get there from home. I left the house twenty minutes earlier today, and now these twenty minutes don’t matter any more. It is 8:45, and the woman just announced that there is an accident and all trains will be delayed. No phone service, no Internet. I can’t even let my employer know that I am running late. I feel the sweat on my face. So hot and crowded here. The people around me start fidgeting and complaining about the constant train delays. Ok, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!  Please! I want to get out of this car and push it. But the doors are closed.

8:55AM. We are finally moving!!! With a speed of a turtle, the train is bringing me closer to work. Now I’m 40 minutes late; that whole everlasting 40 minutes. What should I tell my employer? Will they think that I overslept and am making all this up as a stupid excuse? Will I automatically get a reputation as an inaccurate and irresponsible person? My first day, first moments, and I’m such a failure.

My stop. Run, Forrest, run!

-Bob The Intern

The Diary of an Intern: A New Starrlights Series!

Dear Fellow Baruch Students!

Are you currently working as an intern?  Are you looking for an internship? We know that many of you have had a chance to go through the whole process of applying, interviewing, and getting internships. Do you still remember that sigh of great relief after getting the offer letter, when it seemed like the whole world was yours?

What about the first day of your internship? How did that feel: nervous, puzzled, and uncertain? While students have a lot of resources to help them through the process of obtaining internships, we think there needs to be more information on how to handle various situations after you actually start your new job.  Wouldn’t it be great to learn from someone else’s internship experience?  With this in mind, we want to introduce you to a person willing to share his own experience.  Please welcome Bob The Intern.

Bob The Intern is a Baruch student who is going to start his internship with Company X next week. Bob has decided to write a diary about his internship experience and is generous enough to allow us to post some of his notes in our blog. We will call his notes “The Diary of an Intern.” In his diary, Bob will share the successes and challenges that he faces and look for the best solutions.  Since we are convinced that two heads are better than one, we highly encourage you to share your advice for Bob in the comments section.

In addition, if you are interested in sharing your personal internship experiences for possible inclusion in Bob’s journey, please e-mail the Starrlights Blog Committee at starrlights.scdc@gmail.com.

We hope you will find “The Diary of an Intern” exciting and helpful.

Best Regards,

Nadya Semenova