It’s an easy scene to imagine. You’re walking into your first industry internship and you see faces that have ripened under conditions you’re soon going to experience. Things you never have before. Everyone is a little sceptic about the new intern, and obviously, their view is bound to be coloured with certain pre-conceived notions. As the first day goes by, you realize you’re walking on eggshells and that you’re somewhat miserable until the other intern, who is sitting across you makes a reference to your favourite TV show. That’s it. You instantly realize you’ve found some respite in a place that you feel would’ve eaten you alive otherwise. Faster than you know, you find yourself talking about work and beyond. You’ve found your first work friend, and hence, a welcome.
While it may be true that I’ve been surrounded by all through college or otherwise, finding friends at my workplace, especially one as daunting as the first industry internship is something that came as a boon. It was made easier due to the nature of my workplace – a large co-working space with dedicated office pods – its common areas are filled with conversations easy to join into. This was the first time experiencing a work culture so distinctly friendly and not-hostile. And having someone from college to work at the same place as me to fall back on was of great help too. However, being in an environment that evaluated us based on our value add to work and not our personal relationships with anyone, the nature of our friendship that came from college changed and acquired a more professional dimension. It wasn’t hard to create boundaries because that ensured that the work we did at the internship was to the best of our abilities.
This internship has had many firsts for me, but finding out the importance of making connections was an important one.