The Intern Overview Part 3
Its week three now, and with the aftermath of the recent SHRM conference, it’s been busy!
Every project or task asked of me, up until this point in my internship, seemed to be fairly straight forward. Even if I didn’t quite understand the process or minor details involved at first, I would ask my co-workers questions which they were all happy to answer and help with whatever I was working on. That’s not to say that at this point I hit a wall with accomplishing tasks. What I mean is that for the first time I was flustered and questioned how to handle a certain feedback situation.
A co-worker and I had worked on a set of proposals for potential clients to distribute to our sales reps. Each proposal was extremely specified and each email sent to our sales reps were also specialized and categorized. I made sure to email all of our sales reps their list of company proposals, again the email requiring a specific and individualized template. I was caught off guard when return emails started to flood into my mailbox. Questions and confused replies came into my hands which I had no experience dealing with and was unsure how to handle initially.
My question to readers this week is have you been in this situation? As an intern or a new employee as a company, have you felt unsure how to handle a situation? My first thought was to ask my co-worker whom I worked with on this project about how to handle the feedback. She was very helpful and explained that some of it was out of our control and the situations were all manageable issues that someone could take care of. Of course in the end, this wasn’t really a big deal at all.
I’ve always been good at planning and organizing the development and completion of work. Studying, working on group projects and writing papers have always been straight forward for me. Although of course the occasional problems erupt when a group member fails to complete their portion of their project or a vital research document is lost, but like most, I’ve been able to work around it to produce a solid product.
I think this is where studying and preparation done in college and the tasks of real jobs meet. I also believe this is why holding some sort of internship position when in high school or college, before entering the workforce for real, is essential.
It’s vital that juniors and seniors in college, soon to be graduates, understand how to convert the knowledge and their experiences from school into the real world. So far, this internship experience has been about converting what I’ve already learned and applying it, along with other new skills, to my position in the marketing and communications department.
In my previous posts, I’ve emphasized that employers should give their interns work and guide them through the process of what a full-time employee does because they are essentially the future of your company. This is particularly why. Students learn the book strategies of how to work in a certain job field, but there is so much more to be picked up once working that the books can’t teach you.