Here we go!
On Tuesday, May 27, I officially started my internship with eightWest and Maranda Where You Live. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. One thing that my supervisor recommended was using my blog to record the things that I learned from each day of my internship. On the first day, my brain was working on overdrive to sponge up all of the names and information that were tossed my way. I tried to get a feel for each of the people that I encountered, so I knew who I should go to when I need to ask questions, derive constructive criticism from, want a lunch buddy, or get lost and need directions (I am actually the most directionally challenged person I know). I will be honest, I ended up taking random routes to get home each time I left work, because the construction threw me off, and I admittedly became lost. I’m not going to say I ended up in Ada by accident when I was supposed to be going to residential Grand Rapids from downtown Grand Rapids but…..it happens.
What did I learn in the past two days of the internship?
I learned that I am not an assertive or aggressive person, and this is a struggle for me. I need to plump up my confidence a little bit and make myself a little bit more assertive and upfront if I want to make the most out of this experience. Sometimes my empathy gets in the way of going after what I want, because I become very concerned about bothering people or interrupting them if they seem busy. I tend to think a lot about what other people are thinking, which, although good, can get in the way of going after the things that I want to accomplish. I know from this that I will have to step out of my comfort zone and do some things that scare me if I want to get the most out of this opportunity.
I learned that it is important to remember peoples’ names. There were a lot of names to absorb, but I am going to have to start crafting pneumonics to remember which names belong with which faces (e.g.: Blonde, blue-eyed Ben). It feels good when someone remembers your name, and I want to be intentional about saying someone’s name when I am talking to them; it’s an unexpected surprise that makes you feel valued, and I want to get better at this.
I learned the importance of taking initiative. I am pretty concerned about coming off as bossy or entitled, so I can be a wallflower sometimes. I like to observe, then act. This is something that doesn’t always fly in the work place. Instead of waiting for my supervisor to introduce me, I have realized that it is better for me to walk up to people, look them in the eye, and introduce myself. This is something that is a little out of my comfort zone when I am with people that are well dressed, well spoken, and confident, but it’s something that I am going to stretch myself to do.
I will be doing posts for each day I go to my internship (Tuesday, Thursday, and alternating Fridays) tracking on the things I learn each day, and reflecting on what I have absorbed, so stay posted!