For my research job, there was little work for the 4th of July week. So, instead of having our weekly lab meeting, we decided it would be fun to have a bonding event: a pizza picnic! So far, my lab team has been working together for almost 7 weeks, and we have had little time outside of the professional workspace. My lab team consists of myself, three other Research Assistants who are also undergraduate students at the University of Michigan, and a graduate student supervisor.
We met on the diag and had Cottage Inn on a picnic blanket. This included some pop, delicious cheesy bread, and a barbecue chicken pizza. I think my lab manager chose barbecue chicken in order to go with the festive independence day holiday. Since we were not having an actual barbecue, might as well get barbecue pizza!
While we ate, we got to know each other better, talking about our aspirations, what we like to do in our free time, our favorite University of Michigan professors and classes, and why we are all interested in the researcher we are doing. I think this is an important part of having a job and working with a group of people. Now that we know each other better, we will feel more comfortable communicating with each other, relying on each other, and working together.
I look forward to having many more opportunities like this, where you can relax and simply enjoy getting to know the people you work with. To make the event even more fun, we spent some time taking pictures together with our supervisor’s polaroid camera. Some squirrels even joined in on the fun to try to get the remnants of our pizza!
As important as it is to remain serious in the workplace, especially in a research lab, as to not cause any problems with the research, it is also important to take the time to goof off a little bit, and to get to know your co-workers better! This way you can make the most out of your working experience!