Know Thyself | #5

As summer starts to wind down, I have had enough time to reflect on how my summer internship went, how I’ve grown and what were the key takeaways. These past couple of months have been enjoyable; I have been a part of some cool projects, met some fascinating individuals, and gained a better sense of what strategy consulting in the public sector space entails.

My personality is pretty reserved and I don’t speak as much as I am probably should. My interpersonal skills and intangibles are certainly okay, but they could definitely use some improvement. These are foibles I was more or less aware of before starting my internship, but I’ve refined my diagnosis over the course of the summer. I am a slow thinker. Here’s a little description of what I mean.

During work, when a colleague explained something interesting to me (mostly non-work related), I rarely reacted immediately. It was not until the next morning that I would think of a response. I am not a very entertaining person to debate because I have little to say in the moment—besides the occasional, “Oh! That’s a solid point”. A couple days later, after some reflection I would finally think of a rebuttal. This understandably makes me look quite clueless in the moment. I found myself in several of these situations this summer, so I forced myself to respond for fear of being thought of as a vegetable. In doing that, I realised that my first reactions were not actually the most honest despite what I initially expected. My first reaction is usually outdated. In other words, my first replies are governed by a semi-related idea that I had long ago and now use instead of thinking. Or, the question or comment triggers a knee-jerk emotional response to something that happened long ago. On many occasions, I found that my first reaction wasn’t in fact current and true, and even when it was, I could remember saying it with a level of conviction that I could look back fondly upon.

Learning the requisite functional skills for having a successful career is rewarding and I went through a good amount of that this summer. That said, the key takeaways for me were the subtler things I learned about myself.

One thought on “Know Thyself | #5

  • August 29, 2018 at 6:46 pm
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    Hi Evrard! My name is Caroline and I work at the LSA Opportunity Hub and I was able to read some of your blog posts. It sounds like you have had a very informative summer! You have been able to get your hands on some real consulting work and have had experiences that are educational and unforgettable. You’ve even done some deep reflection on yourself and how you operate in the workplace. I’d be curious to know what you will do with these lessons and memories when you exit your internship. I highly recommend using the services and resources offered at the Opportunity Hub to help you maximize this experience. Our coaches can help you articulate your experiences in resumes, cover letters, and future interviews. You surely don’t want to forget all of the great things you’ve been learning in DC, or the people that you’ve connected with. They can also help you figure out what moves you want to make next and how to stay in touch with your network. I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer, and we hope to see you at the Hub this fall!

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