Five things I’ve Learned in Five Weeks

 

  1. Ask questions– You’re not expected to know everything coming into your internship. Case and point- I was having trouble dialing into my first conference call by myself, so I asked an associate in the nearest cubicle to the conference room to help me dial in.  I was hesitant to bother someone working to ask for help, but asking questions or for help is a great way to learn.
  2. But take time to digest what you are learning –Listen up when you are in meetings so you don’t ask questions that you would already know the answers to if you were just paying attention the first time.
  3. Ask for more– Managers set aside specific projects for you to do as an intern, but as they don’t know your work speed or efficiency you might get ahead on some projects or finish them early all together. Ask your manager what else you can do.  It shows initiative.  Plus the best way to get offered a job is to integrate yourself as much as you can into as many projects as you can.
  4. Connect with your coworkers– It doesn’t all have to be about work! Obviously, everyone wants to work with people they actually like.  Take time to form friendships with your coworkers by talking about each other’s weekends or grabbing a drink after work.
  5. Stay organized- At a corporate level, there can be a lot going on. In order for me stay on top of my projects I updated an A3 document weekly for each of my projects.  Each week I documented what I got done the previous week and what my next steps were in order for me to complete my projects by the end of my internship.  This helped my manager gain visibility to what I spent most of my time working on.  It will also help me when I start working on my final presentation because I have a lot of big milestones of my projects already written down.

Beginnings

Two weeks into my internship, and I can tell it’s going to be the summer of a lifetime. Having the chance to both live and work in Madrid has incited more thoughts and feelings than I can truly process; the greatest of these, though, is feeling overwhelmingly grateful. Every day, I go to work in the Human Resources department of Inditex. Inditex is a European fashion company that owns brands like Zara and Pull&Bear; we process applications and resumes to hire associates for the fast approaching sales that take place in Spain the entire month of July. As absolutely no English is to be spoken in my office, not only am I learning about the hiring process of a global corporation, but I am using and thinking in Spanish more than my six years of classes ever truly required of me. Though professional growth is a goal of every intern over the summer, acclimating to a new culture and company has taught me just as much about myself, and the power of your thoughts, during these first two weeks as it has shown me insight into my professional aspirations.

The first day in a new office can be intimidating. A positive attitude and an open mind can turn any situation into a good one.

Say yes more often. You never know when the dinner you got dragged into going to will be completely paid for by the stranger sitting next to you.

Embrace where you are and who you’re with. While we came here to work, it’s that time spent with the 35 other Ohio State students that I know will be the defining moments of summer.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. We all accidentally call our drinks (bebidas) babies (bebes) sometimes, anyways.

Life is all about people, and the quality of your relationships is dependent on your communication. Never again will I take speaking the same language as everyone around me for granted!

It’s not selfish to prioritize yourself; it’s completely necessary. While living with 35 other students is amazing fun sometimes, other times you need to exercise your independence, and have the confidence in those decisions to not second guess yourself.

Getting lost is FUN. Exploring a new place keeps in perspective just how small your problems are in relation to the rest of the world.

It’s not leaving your comfort zone, it’s expanding your comfort zone. Appreciate the differences you experience, or the lessons you learn. You’ll discover just how capable you truly are.

There are times that being an intern may not be glamorous, but remember to always be grateful.

And the best part about this all is that it’s only the beginning, but that’s the beauty of life.. Every day is a new beginning.