When I accepted my position as a Summer Lab Tech Aide at Abbvie Inc, I knew I was going to be the only intern in my department. I wasn’t too worried about it; I figured I would be staying pretty busy anyway. However, my first few weeks on the job were tougher than expected. I spent a lot of time alone in my cubicle because most of my coworkers were busy with their own projects. There was an age gap of 11 years between me and the next youngest employee, so even when given the opportunity to socialize, I still had trouble relating to my coworkers. This was surely an obstacle for me because I soon began to feel out of place. My internship lasted 12 weeks, so I knew that if I wanted to make the most of my experience that I would need to make some changes. I began inviting coworkers to lunch with me (rather than eating alone) so I could get the chance to know them a little better. I asked them more about themselves, their families, and what their life is like outside of work. It was amazing how quickly our relationships grew after taking the time to chat with them. Soon they were asking me similar questions and what life at the University of Michigan is like. Because I stepped out of my comfort zone and made time to know my coworkers better, I felt more welcomed in both the lab and the office. I’ve meet some incredible people this summer and I know saying goodbye will be difficult to do!
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