Building character and experience is the primary reason students apply for internships. This includes working on projects or real-world problems to prepare them for their first steps out of the academic realm.
For any project that I have worked on, there has always been one, if not many, seemingly impossible problems. Overcoming these obstacles helps develop your skills. They also allow you to build relationships with various team members by facing an obstacle together to achieve the same goal. Seeing my progression as I had begun to create milestones gave me a feeling of accomplishment. More importantly, it helps me to celebrate the success of overcoming problems and pushing through after multiple failures.
An IT professional’s perspective on moving offices
The largest and most impactful project I have worked on is the “Gensler move.” Although the move took place in the same building, the impact of this move would be felt throughout the entire office. With over 300+ in the DC office moving, as well as the implementation of new equipment and hardware, the feat was physically and mentally draining. Due to the IT team staying long into the next morning, we completely transferred all the workstations. We also handled various minor issues that popped up along the way. After the physical move, it took some time for people to acclimate to their new work environment and smooth out any IT-related problems.
Feeling accomplished and helpful.
With the most challenging project behind me, I can see the impact of the team’s efforts. When I arrived, the third floor was a large dusty room with many cables and power tools. Now, it hosts a large chunk of Gensler’s staff. Occasionally, there were issues with the network or setting up the new equipment to introduce a new type of seating style in the Gensler environment. Regardless of the problem, my team pushed through and completed our work. After the setup, I got to look around and felt immense accomplishment and pride, regardless of how small my part was. “I got to help set this up,” I thought.
There’s no replacement for real-world experience.
During this arduous process, I have been developing skills that, when utilized, will assist me in endeavors outside of this internship. Working on a team has helped me evolve my communication skills by implementing them in a work environment rather than an academic setting. This includes hands-on technical hardware experience on how to set up and maintain workstations. It also has various behind-the-scenes issues that must be dealt with to achieve a functional workplace.
Taking the time to recognize personal achievements
A milestone is part of the journey, while a celebration of your efforts is a result. Looking back and seeing the impact that my developmental contributions have made has been significant. It visualizes my errors and successes while emphasizing my evolution and change. Celebrating, even treating yourself to a smoothie, is imperative. You’re not only celebrating the end of the project; you’re celebrating your transformation.