Overcoming Obstacles | Blog #4

Like many of you, there were definitely times throughout my internship were I hit obstacles. Obstacles in the project I was working, obstacles in communicating with people, etc. But early on, one major obstacle that I faced was getting the team I was working with to throw me additional work. I had my final project that I had been working on throughout the 12 week internship, but it did not take all my time, nor did I want to solely focus on it 24/7. I wanted to take on additional projects to learn more about my team and what everyone was involved in, to learn new things and gain additional skills. It was difficult in the beginning to get this work. Nobody on my team knew what skills I had, or what skills I could learn. The people on my team were also very busy. They were in the middle of launching a new product, and could not spend an entire day teaching me what I needed to know. Once I realized this, the solution was pretty obvious. The first few weeks really entailed me finding out what programs I would need to know, and then going on my own to learn as much as I could about them. This way I could go to my manager and team and say, “I’ve been working on learning this program, and since I know you are working on this task, is there anything I can attempt to do?” Phrasing it like this helped. It let them know that I wanted to take on additional workload and could take a shot in doing it. Obviously I wasn’t 100% effective in doing it originally, but through asking focused questions relating to specific tasks, the team was more willing to help, and made them realize I could be an effective part of the team. That’s really something I learned and will take away from my internship. Being an intern, I could have been fine with just learning an overview of the company and seeing what everyone does. But in order to actually get into the work, you need to put yourself in the right position, by being open to learning new things, and being persistent in wanting to be involved.

 

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