“Just an intern” | #4

When acclimating myself to my workplace for the summer, I expected to run into some obstacles.  I knew I would get lost wandering around my building.  I knew I’d flounder for a few days as I tried to make friends.  These were obstacles I had anticipated, as I face them every time I start a new job.  They are all a part of adjusting to a new work environment.

What I didn’t anticipate, however, was that my biggest obstacle had nothing to do with my environment; it had to do with my thinking.

I went into this experience with the mentality that I was “just an intern.”  I was the least experienced in my department, and I was there to learn from my colleagues.  I felt so fortunate to have been taken aboard by my company, and I didn’t want to step on any toes or cross any lines.  My precautionary approach was intended to respect those around me, but I found that this thinking was detrimental to my experience.  By not fully joining the conversation, I was robbing my company of valued input and robbing myself of being fully engaged in my work.

After a few weeks, I decided to make a change; I began voicing my opinions and challenging others’.  Much to my delight, my supervisors took note and supported me in continuing to share my point of view.  Lesson learned.


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