On Monday, I started my first day of work at my internship. With this being the first real-world corporate internship I have ever had, I was in for one hell of a wake up call. It wasn’t good or bad, just different, and I quickly realized that I have a lot to learn. Here are the five things that I learned on my first day of work:
1. Meetings consume most of your day.
How does anyone get stuff done if they are in meetings all day? This was the first thought I had as watched the third meeting of the day wrap up. With only an hour and a half left in the day, I was wondering how I was going complete all the new hire paperwork they gave me at orientation. Luckily, the paperwork isn’t due until next week, so I have some time. But I learned that whatever it is that you have to do that day, you better learn to do it quick! And you will use up every last second of each minute. That’s how people get stuff done.
2. Acronyms… learn them.
The first meeting I sat in was over legal matters for a marketing plan. I was hearing “S&P”, “TMG”, and “MSA” among the tons of other acronyms that they used. Of course the best plan of action is to ask what they all stand for, so make sure you speak up and ask about it if you don’t figure it out.
3. No one will tap you on the shoulder to tell you your day is done.
The clock strikes five, and you’re sitting there waiting for a bell or for people to leave in large masses like they do from an auditorium… except in the real world, this doesn’t happen. There’s no shuffling of papers or backpacks being zipped up. Everyone leaves at different times, so you kind of just work until you decide that it’s time to go. You don’t have to report to anyone or say bye. You can just walk out!
4. Heels may be a bad idea.
Oh lord, my feet. I was in so much pain at the end of the day that I limped to my car. I was not expecting to be on my feet that much, but I ended up running to meetings, standing around desks, walking to lunch, and touring the buildings, and by the end of the day, I took off my shoes and drove barefoot. So guess what I wore the next day: flats.
5. No one will hold your hand.
From the very start, I was handling things on my own. I was left alone with my computer, and I had to figure out how to set it up. If you know me, you know I am technologically challenged, so instead of trying to figure it out for myself, I learned how to use the desk phone and gave the IT department a call.