So today I’m continuing the series talking about my very first internship – and this post is specifically going to describe my very first day!
So! For my first day of the internship, I had work at 8AM in the morning, got out at 12 and had to help out with an event that my club was holding outside for about 15 minutes, and then headed straight to class which ended at around the early afternoon (I was a sophomore in college). By the time class was over, I should have been exhausted, but all I could think about was how nervous I was for my first day as an intern!
My internship was about an hour’s distance from my university, so I had to take the train. Right after class, I walked down the street to the train station with my boyfriend. As I waited for the train to come, all I could remember is feeling anxiety. What do they expect of me on the first day? I thought to myself. Man, I hope I don’t end up getting lost and being late! Is my outfit appropriate for the workplace in their standards??
The train took me to the city where the journey began. I was a noob, and didn’t know how to use the subway! I took it uptown when I was supposed to go down. I asked strangers for help every now and then, and I ended up arriving at the building 45 minutes late. What a great first impression, I thought to myself.
I entered the lobby, approached the glass-shielded front desk, and knocked at the glass window. “Hi, I’m looking for Jay. It’s my first day interning here,” I spoke into the intercom.
“Okay! She’ll be just a few minutes,” said the girl at the desk. She, like everyone else there looked really, really, busy. It was a Thursday, late afternoon, so what should I expect, right?
A few minutes pass and Jay arrives at the lock-secured door. She smiles and introduces herself, and right as I start apologizing for arriving late, she cuts me off and says, “It’s okay. You’re from [insert place here] right?” I nodded.
“I commute from there too, and I know how the bad the traffic is,” Jay says reassuringly. PHEW! WHAT LUCK I HAVE.
I still feel really bad about being late, so I naturally turn into a state that’s even quieter than my norm. At the same time, I try my best to look confident and happy. Jay explains that she’s the director of the Beauty Team and that I won’t be working directly under her, but I’ll be working for the associates that she employs. She leads me to one of her associates we’ll call Em.
Em is a tall, beautiful blonde with porcelain skin. She honestly looks like she could be a Barbie doll, but without the overly-tan skin. We meet Em at her little cubicle and me and Em are introduced to each other. Jay explains that she has to get back to her office, and that I should let her know if I have any questions. I remember Jay being super nice, probably the friendliest of all directors, but really busy. I’d always feel bad if I ever had to bother her for anything!
Em explained to me that she was working on a weekly assignment – literally called a “Weekly.” At the same time, she was working on some clippings, and checking her email. I could see that there was a lot of multitasking done at this workplace. She let me pull up a chair and I watched her. Every now and then she’d try to explain the basic idea of what she was doing, because I might have to do some of that work later. For the rest of the part, however, I was just sitting there watching her. (Awkward!)
However, she did apologize for this. “In the summer,” Em started, “my interns would come in and I ‘d have a whole list of Pitneys to do. But today, there just hasn’t been too much to do, so I’m sorry that there’s not much you can do today. But I guess you can just observe for now and see how an average day goes.”
On that day specifically, I only had to come in for three hours – but since I was late, I was there for only a little more than two. So for those two hours, I basically sat and observed. It might have been a little disappointing to just be sitting there, but I guess I really didn’t know what I was expecting.
It wasn’t until the next day that the real work began. And the story will continue in my next Internship post!
Thanks for reading guys! [To be continued]