To myself at the start of the summer | #5

At the beginning of my internship, I really did not like my job. My manager, who doesn’t work in our office, had not directly contacted me, and my mentor had not given me enough work to do to fill my time, and this made me feel like they were not interested in me and that I wasn’t going to get a lot out of my summer. What I wish I knew then was that I didn’t need my manager to be directly involved, because my local team would be great mentors to me, and that my mentor was just easing me into the work. Specifically to the field of software development, I learned that when you’re working on a large code base, you can’t just dive in on day 1. There is a lot to understand about the previous code before you start fixing things and adding code for yourself, and taking the time to thoroughly understand how it works makes it a lot easier and faster to work later on.

Another piece of advice I would give to myself starting the internship would be to try harder to meet and interact with more people in the office. My office was one of the smaller offices participating in my company’s internship program, so any intern events we wanted to attend (speakers, workshops, etc.) we had to join over Skype from our desks, which didn’t lead to a lot of interaction between us. My local team only consisted of 3 other people, so I interacted with them fairly often, but didn’t organically meet others outside the team. I volunteered to help setup an office blood drive, and I once joined some coworkers for a beach volleyball game at the park after work, and these opportunities allowed me to meet more people that I could recognize and say hi to around the office. I wish I would have taken more of these opportunities.

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