The Big Mishap | #2

Of course, mistake are inevitable and are essentially engrained in the human code, so it was really unavoidable that I had such a big mess up my second week in the lab.

Hours are pretty flexible within the lab this due to several studies being run, a plethora of graduate students to organize and compile theses based from these studies, and many interns to do the groundwork and facilitate the cycle. Our lab is running under one massive google calendar, and subsequent individual studies and intern availabilities are run under graduate calendars. The latter is where I lay out my preferred times to fulfill my research duties.

For communication, as an intern in the Berkeley lab, you’re able to receive a student email address at your disposal while working with the University. For the sake of memory, I chose to utilize the same uniquename for my Berkeley email that I use for my Umich email.

There are to interns working under the graduate student I was assigned to, myself and another undergrad from Northeastern University in Boston. Because of work Visa difficulties, she was unable to make the program date and thus was slated to begin two weeks late. The week of her arrival, our graduate student was away at a conference, meaning I would train the new research assistant.

The morning that I had wrote on the calendar that I would be off, I get a call at 9:00am saying that the new intern was here and I was supposed to be in the lab to train her that morning. I was confused and moreover horrified that they might believe I skipped out on work because my graduate student wasn’t present. I rushed to work and made it on time to train the intern, so a complete disaster was diverted.

As it turns out, my graduate student had been sending emails occasionally to my Michigan email and at other times to my Berkeley email. The specific email detailing the the date was mistakenly sent to my Michigan email, which I did not think to check. The date was a day I had written as not available on the availability calendar, which my graduate student did not think to check. This left the new intern confused for a quick half hour while I embarrassingly rushed to the building.

Moral of the story: Check all your emails and make sure your superiors know the calendar.

One thought on “The Big Mishap | #2

  • July 5, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Tori! I know that you probably felt pretty stressed in those moments feeling like you made a mistake. I’m hoping now with a little time between when that happened and current you’re feeling better about it.

    Firstly, you’re right, everyone makes mistakes. Secondly, whether an internship or a new job, sometimes there is just a steep learning curve that comes with the territory. So don’t get down on yourself or beat yourself up about this because these kinds of things happen to everyone. You did a great job recovering and getting in to work and having this only very minimally impact anyone. So great job adjusting on the fly and getting to work to help the new intern.

    Like most things in life, your internship will be a series of learning experiences, sometimes those learning experiences will come from mistakes, both big and small. So don’t get too down on yourself in those moments, instead do what you did and recover and find the learning takeaway. You’re doing great!


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