You know how you can have a class that is the most boring of subjects, but you enjoy going to class everyday because the professor and environment of the class make it worth showing up for? That is how I describe work culture. It’s that same idea translated into the work place. Being able to wake up everyday and go to work knowing you are the work and the office environment is something not everyone understands.
As I have completed my first week and moved into the second week of work, I have found that the work culture matters more to me than it has in the past. Last year working for a start up minor league baseball league, I never found myself thinking about the work culture. Everyone was accepting of and kind to the interns and we were put to work immediately–there was a lot to get done before opening day and the inaugural season. Perhaps work culture never crossed my mind because I felt like part of the full-time staff, but also maybe because the high paced environment where I was constantly learning on my feet was my ideal work culture.
During my first week at my new internship, I have found that the work culture differs from the one that I experienced last summer. The office and staff are much smaller (although after working last year for only 15 people it doesn’t seem like it could get smaller). With only seven full-time staff members and being the only intern, breaking into the “office family” has been more difficult than I expected. Although I am still getting to know all of them, everyone has been kind and welcoming.
The biggest difference I have experienced is the slower paced energy at the office. I came in to this internship with the preconceived notion that no matter what facet of the sports industry you work for, the job will always be fast paced and high intensity. That’s where I was wrong. Working this past week I have found myself with some downtime when I didn’t have anything to work on. I watched other members of the staff face off head to head in ping pong games just across the office. After playing, everyone had a good laugh and then went back to their office to work, closing their doors behind them. Perhaps I had downtime because it was only my first week working, or perhaps it was because that is just the reality of this area of sports.
I left work last week feeling slightly disappointed because I felt as though I did not accomplish anything that week when comparing it to my first week of work last summer. What I realized about this summer was that it will be different: the work culture, the work itself, and my experiences. But what I know won’t be different is that I will gain valuable experience and provide the company with my best effort. Work culture matters, but what ends up being more important is the lesson and experience I gained from my internship moving forward in my career.