What do you wish you knew at the beginning of your experience that you know now?
From the start, I tend to be very cautious around stranger, especially adults. I find it hard to relate, and often times I sense the generation gap between them and me. In this respect, I never felt a real connection or I never went out of my way to understand their ideals/culture/lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, looking back, I’d call myself ignorant because I was so blinded by the idea that they clearly don’t understand me; thus, there was no reason to extend genuine friendship. The internship was just 12 weeks anyways. What’s the point, right? I simply came into the internship believing that I would be treated with respect (which I was, no worries), given a job, and had to make small talk here and there. It wasn’t until I started what was essentially a data-cleaning/updating-the-system project that I realized how much I’ve missed out on experiences and knowledge simply by not being involved or interested. This is my downfall. I was surrounded by highly intelligent individuals, yet I dismissed them as if they were petty children.
So, here’s my lesson learned. I’ll skip the nuances, but the idea was that my project consists of potential clients that the financial advisors could reach out to, but most of them were outdated, or forgotten. My job was to talk to each advisor and ask whether they wanted to contact the person, delete the record, or update it. When it was just one-on-one I realized the fascination of compromise. This is not “compromise” in the traditional sense. It was as if they matched my knowledge, albeit not on par with them, and when confusion arose, they were more than happy to elaborate. In fact, I realized that people loved to help. They wouldn’t judge me for what I didn’t know and they wouldn’t put it against me if I asked redundant questions. They lead, they compromised, they offered. These are the people I work with, yet I never appreciated it until the very end. Honestly one of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t genuinely reach out to them from the start. They gave me the chance to work with them, yet I was foolish enough to believe I could do everything alone. Yes, a lesson learned, but a lesson learned too late.