A big obstacle I encountered throughout the summer was dealing with time management and prioritizing tasks. While I feel I have no trouble managing the tasks and responsibilities given to me, the small summer time frame of only 4 months, as well as my busy summer schedule resulted in some difficulties in organizing and meeting deadlines.
Not wanting to constantly jam-pack my schedule with coffee chats and calls, so I have free time to work on my assigned tasks, left me not nearly enough time to gain all the learning experiences I hoped for when speaking with other employees. Now looking back, there were many days in which I could have scheduled a call to hear more about someone’s position and their past experiences.
Besides the short summer months, going out of the office for even just a few days at a time put me in a position of either being forced to work ahead, or missing deadlines without realizing due to my absence from my computer. Informing my colleagues of my out of office timing often resulted in confusion regarding my return or delegating tasks back to whoever I am supporting. I quickly had to figure out how to leave behind no loose ends with colleagues before departing the office with no internet access- and each time I somehow still struggled a bit.
Each of these learning experiences with time management and prioritization was a wake up call to me that the real world isn’t like school. There are no late submissions or half credit given. The work I am delegated to be completed by a specific deadline is vital in making the business run and be successful. There is no room for forgetfulness or half-hearted work. While I take pride in the work I have completed over the summer, I take responsibility for the times in which I was behind schedule or needed a few reminders to complete simple tasks. Being fully submerged in a working environment guided me towards the understanding the necessity in precision and timeliness. It is important to be with it and on top of things to be well respected on your team and within your company. I am glad as only an intern I was able to deal with these obstacles and learn from my mistakes. Working ahead pays off and attention and organization are key.