“Don’t mix business with pleasure,” is a commonly expressed warning used to prevent the intermixing of one’s professional and social life. While many supplement the consequences of partaking in such practices with the initial appeal, be fair warned. While mentally preparing myself for my internship experience this summer, I questioned how far my presence in the office would transcend the lives of my fellow co-workers and interns. I am known to have a vivacious and loud personality, and couldn’t help but wonder how my social experiences might play into office culture. I was a bit weary, to be honest, that my humorous way of being would be taken in a wrong, unprofessional way.
I’ve come to learn over my couple of months as an employed Wine n’ Dine Intern, that office culture cannot thrive without a healthy mixture of work and play. Although my managers Adam and Josh judge me based on my level of skill and hard work, the, what I would consider “friendly and positive,” relationship that I have with them is due partly to how we both accept and appreciate each other’s social presence in the office environment. I now understand that there is a difference between being inappropriate and being social. Human instinct naturalizes the urge to socialize and while there is a common misconception that these tendencies should remain dormant in office settings, I say the opposite. As young, college professionals, we must always remember to be ourselves, be respectful, and be open to the new social situations of our futures, whatever they may be.