The Internship: It’s not just about office and work

I’m back! With a mission to tell you all about my internship experience… which turned out to be not-so-bad after all. Grades got out today and I got a 4.0, which is fantastic! So enough of this and onto the actual internship experience.

The first day was definitely not what I expected. It was boring to say the least but I already knew that. I’ve been told. Actually, after I was asked to sit down and relax, I made up my mind to throw out any, if not all, expectations I had of the internship. To my chagrin, I was asked during lunch what my expectations were. Out of any ideas (haha, how ironic), I merely shrugged, put on a sheepish smile and said, “make you coffee? staple your documents?” In a way, I was a bit disappointed when I realized that I was completely overdressed when I came to the office on the first day. I was wearing freshly pressed slacks, a crisp button-down white top and leather heels and everybody else was wearing collared shirts, faded jeans and Chuck Taylors! First time in my life that I was the one who was overdressed.

It wasn’t until the second week that things became interesting. I think they seemed comfortable enough with me that they started teasing me with “Rich kid” jokes. Now, I wasn’t new to the whole teasing bordering bullying but I was new to the kind of jokes. Personally, I never saw myself as rich or anywhere near. I know that the family gets by and we get to go to really nice schools. Maybe it’s because I’m used to working hard and saving up for the extra things that I want. So the jokes were really new to me. At one point, I felt kind of offended. But then I realized why should I feel so bad about it when I’m not really the person they’re assuming me to be? It was just a matter of debunking the prejudices and showing them I was alright.

It took a while before the ‘Rich kid’ jokes subsided and they started opening up. That was when I enjoyed the internship more. I knew they were more experienced in all aspects of life since they were at least 3 years older than I am. It was quite comforting that they were very open in sharing to me their experiences in life, love and work. It gave me a better understanding of things – I actually felt wiser – and a gained a new kind of perspective. If I look at it, it seemed that I learned more about life (and dating and love) than the technical stuff. Mind you, I was able to learn all the vital stuff about the department in two weeks. The following seemed more like reinforcement to the high-level learnings.

Moreover, they were very generous to me which was really something I did not expect. I thought I would just be the intern that took up space in their office and helped with extra work that they’d forget after I finish my internship with them. I was wrong. They treated me more than an intern, like I was their co-worker, almost like family. If internship did not have grades, I would definitely put in my written report that I looked forward to the breakfast, lunches and meriendas with the team because that is where I learned more about life than just work and office. I learned how to interact with people older than me in both professional and casual settings. I was able to honestly tell one of the bosses (at one point), that they intimidated me and made me nervous (haha).

Besides the experiences I had with them, I had experiences on my alone time during work. Like the time I really had to ask one woman how to use the elevator and she graciously did – even guiding me to the right set of elevators. Or the time I was reprimanded for eating rice at the pantry (it was a no-rice eating zone). That was embarassing. But I know ignorance excuses nobody. Then I managed to leave my shoe on the bus’ step with an entire line of people behind me. Don’t forget the time I almost fell inside the bus with matching flailing arms to keep my balance when the bus driver just stopped the bus. I definitely heard one of the passengers sniggering. Hayz…

Just this morning, I received a call from one of my cool bosses. Apparently, he was looking for me and asking if I was going to work! Hehe. Sadly, I am catching up on my thesis with my thesis mates. (But I made sure I finished this because I have other topics lined up!) I’m sure though, that after all these and I’m finally applying for a job, I will definitely try my luck once more here. 🙂



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