All things come to an end at some point. So did my summer internship as a research analyst with the municipality. It is a bit sad to leave the company and great people I’ve been working with, so I will try to add a light and funny tone to my message. Here are a few of the many things I’ve discovered during my corporate job:
- I’ve learned how to quickly adjust to a nomadic office lifestyle. During my internship, I didn’t really have a permanent office or cubicle. I occupied offices of people who were off, on vacation, or on a leave. I moved from one office to another every week or sometimes every 2nd day. By the end of my internship, I feel I’ve become an office nomad: constantly changing locations, having only the bare minimum of my stuff to be able to move quickly, working with whatever is available or missing at someone’s office (like no keyboard), and avoiding any attachment to a space. It was part of a fun experience: never knowing where I was going to end up next. Now I can add “flexibility” and “adaptability” as my key skills to the resume.
- While occupying one of the cubicles for a week, I’ve realized how important it is to learn to snack quietly and gracefully at the desk. First, you might never know when someone would peek into your cubicle and find you with a full mouth of food. Second, when it gets too quiet, people, sitting in nearby cubicles, can hear you chew. And some food does need a lot of chewing or even munching. Learning to snack silently is a good skill to acquire in corporate work. Another skill to add to the resume: “multitasking” (working, eating, and making no noises) and “able to operate (food) under pressure.”
- Before internship, I’ve often dreamed of having colleagues and feeling like a part of the community. And I got that experience; however, I’ve also found that having too many great co-workers leads to having too many great conversations, which, in turn, leads to having too many minutes NOT spent on your work. Balancing between work and great conversations can be tricky sometimes. I can legitimely add the skills of “time management” and “networking” to my resume now.
- I’ve always been a pro-sport and pro-exercise person and I’ve never thought that walking down the stairs from the 9th floor (office is on the 9th floor) might be the only meaningful workout throughout the day for me. When you don’t have time or energy to do a normal workout, you become creative: walking up and down the stairs a few times a day, dancing a bit of zumba during lunch break, and choosing heels over sneakers to build some muscles in legs. Two important skills: “innovation” and “creative thinking.”
- I’ve also learned that the outside weather does not reflect the weather in office. No matter how much sun there is outside, it is always chilly in the office. So if I have a hot cup of tea/coffee on the desk, I make sure to sip it as fast as possible before its temperature drops. I’ve also given up the idea of wearing nice summer dresses or skirts to office as having goosebumps all over the body is not the most attractive thing. Choosing layers of clothes is one way to solve the problem. Another way is to go to the bathroom and keep your hands under hot running water. Such a warm feeling right away. So, in the end, this all enhanced my skills of “problem-solving” and “strategic planning (of what to wear every day).”
- Finally, I have realized that headphones are absolutely integral to your success in corporate work. With so many people working around you, headphones are key to your concentration, performance, and result achievement. I can add my final point to the resume: “Active Not Listening” skill.
My internship is almost over, but I am excited to develop my career further and hone the acquired skills of adaptability, flexibility, creativity, multitasking, working under pressure, problem-solving, and time management. Goodbye, offices. Goodbye, desks. An office nomad is ready for the next career move.