Coming into this summer internship, I thought I understood what a corporate job would look like. I assumed that the office atmosphere would be intense and quiet and intimidating. I assumed the dress code would be incredibly strict and that friendly banter between co-workers would not exist. I assumed that I would be doing classic intern tasks around the office and city. I assumed so many things about what a corporate office would be like. Different pieces of information from movies, shows, books, and older family members and friends helped me compose this idea. However, I could not have been more wrong about the working environment at WebMD. Although it’s a huge company, with many employees, and lots of moving parts, there is still a great environment at the office. Everyone knows each other’s names, even if they are in different divisions – including mine! None of the interns are called “the intern.” It really feels like we are part of the company, which is cool and welcoming. There are lots of windows and open cubicles, which makes the space feel much brighter and friendlier. There is always cereal, yogurt, fruit, and coffee to snack on as well. Because the goals for everyone in the company are extremely high and can create stress, the office seems to try to do things to make things more fun. For example, yesterday there was an ice cream sundae bar in the lobby, which was amazing and brightened up everybody’s busy Thursday. Based on these office qualities, I have realized that I would love to work in an environment that encourages collaboration and constructive banter. I have appreciated that the WebMD employees are all willing to be helpful and chat while also being hardworking and determined to reach their personal and team goals. I want to work with other people who are passionate and diligent about work, but not work-obsessed. As much has interning at WebMD has helped me know what type of environment I would like to work in, it has done more to help me realize what I don’t want to do in my future career. I definitely do not want to be in sales. I pretty much knew this starting the internship this summer; however, now I am sure that it is not my thing. I definitely want to do work that I am truly excited about. I also would like to do work that changes more often. If possible, I also would like to have work that does not require me to sit at an office 9-5 everyday because it can get pretty repetitive.
Overall, this internship has given me a lot of insight into the type of career I might want in the future. It has also showed me that I can get much more accomplished in a day if I wake up earlier. I plan to use this information at school so that I can have much more productive mornings before my 10am classes. Additionally, at WebMD, I’ve learned the importance of enjoying your co-workers. For example, the people on my team are friends. They talk about their lives and go out to drinks and dinner together. They have a lot of fun, but also help each other on the work side of things. In this way, I feel like work and personal life can often blend. It doesn’t have to be so separate and black and white. All this being said, even though I do not plan on having a career in sales or living in New York City when I graduate, I have absorbed a lot of information from this summer internship and learned more about life after college. I have loved getting to know the people I work with and many of the other interns and exploring NYC. I feel that this was a very valuable experience, despite the fact that it was not necessarily in my future career path.
That’s all I have for now! I’m sure I will continue to reflect on this experience as the school year starts again and I hope that I can use what I’ve learned here in the search for future internships and jobs.
Thank you LSA Opportunity Hub! See you soon, Ann Arbor!