One of the biggest challenges and learning experiences I faced during my summer here is learning to deal with individuals of different backgrounds and thought processes.
In the past, 99% of individuals I have collaborated with in many settings, whether it be school, or work, or other space, have been very similar to me. In high school, we all lived in the same area, had the same teachers, same level of difficulty (honors classes, AP classes), and similar learning experiences thus far. This made it quite easy to work in groups, as everyone had essentially the same mindset.
Once I got to college, it was a little bit of an adjustment to get used to working with individuals from all over the world, but at the end of the day, we are all receiving a world-class education and keep ourselves to a high standard. In fact, my peers at Michigan have elevated me in terms of my thought processes and learning style. Working with individuals in my major is an effective way for me to learn various thought processes in a field that I am passionate about.
My internship this summer was a completely different ballpark, specifically for our intern group projects. Our intern groups are comprised of 5-6 interns from different capabilities (creative, media, data, copyright, etc.), all from different schools and backgrounds and overall experiences. While for some individuals, this is their first internship, others are experiencing their first time in the US. Some individuals have never worked in a group project, and others are already graduated from college. On top of our extremely different backgrounds, we all have very different career interests, although we all work for the same agency. This makes for a very enriching, exciting, and sometimes challenging, experience within our intern groups. While some people think much more analytically, others think strictly in terms of creativity. I have learned how to internalize, comprehend, and respond to individuals with such different ideas than me. It was not easy at first, and even frustrating at times. However, this experience has taught me that I will not always be surrounded by those that are very similar to me, and success is truly learning from others. I am grateful to have had this experience of working with such a diverse group of individuals. It is not an opportunity I get to have every day, and at the end of the day, it was quite eye-opening to undergo a long-term project with such incredible individuals, from all walks of life.