By: Angela Flanagan, Human Resources Intern
I’ve always said that being an intern in a company is a fascinating position. They’re one of the most highly sought-after jobs during the summer for a student. For a couple of months, we’re immersed into a team of people and then after several weeks, we go back to school and our normal routine picks back up. Having the opportunity to write this, I thought I’d answer the most common question I got this summer: “How do you like being an intern at Conduent?” and share some of my reflections from the experience.
No two days are the same
At Conduent, I think each day was the best kind of unpredictable. Some days I’d feel like drinking coffee; some days I’d feel like drinking tea. I’m kidding – I always drink coffee. In all seriousness, I loved the feeling of coming into work and not knowing exactly what the day would bring. I had my list of goals to accomplish for the day, but I always looked forward to the moments of rapid movement – going from one meeting to the next, constantly switching hats. For me, those were some of the most influential moments. Going from a meeting about policies to a phone call about a new communications project was challenging at first, but it taught me how to manage my time better. The time I took to prepare for my meetings was the most important part of my day. I learned how to make sure that I was able to shift my thoughts from one topic to another quickly to be present and engaged in a meeting.
There is no “I” in team
One of the major takeaways that I learned as an intern at Conduent was how to be independent while still staying connected. I was not in the same location as most of the people I worked with each day. If I had a question for someone that needed a quick answer, I couldn’t just knock on their door; I had to either email them or bring the question up in the next phone call. It might seem like an every day thing for some people, but for me, it was an adjustment that I needed to make in my work style. There were parts of the projects that required independence and there were parts of the projects that required a team effort. I learned how to think two steps ahead and make sure that the goals I was setting for myself were realistic while also making sure that things weren’t set in stone and could be adjusted accordingly.
Connecting the Dots
Being an intern is like staring at a one-thousand-piece puzzle: it can be a daunting task at first, but once I put the first piece down, it became easier to complete as time went on. To me, a company is like a puzzle and as an intern, it is my job to fit the puzzle pieces together. One goal I had for myself during this internship was to meet as many people as I could. I had the privilege of meeting people from different departments and different locations. Every single person I met at Conduent took time to get to know me and know what I was studying. Our conversations helped me relate the projects that I was working on to their job, even if it was completely different from what I was doing. Each person I met helped me put different puzzle pieces together until a picture was formed.
I’m lucky to have been one of twenty-seven interns here at Conduent for the summer, and with the internship coming to an end, it’s a bittersweet feeling. I’m going to be sad to leave the friends that I’ve made, the leaders that I’ve learned from, and the atmosphere that is Conduent. But I am happy to say that I’m able to take a lot with me. The things I’ve learned here have tremendously impacted me and the experiences I’ve had will help me as I head off to law school. I am looking forward to continuing to sharpen the skills I’ve acquired.
To all my colleagues in Human Resources, thank you for taking me under your wing. I am so grateful to everyone for making this summer full of laughter and learning.