My Net@Work Summer Internship:
The First in a Series

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When performing technology intensive work, it’s not uncommon to feel people being reduced to data. For instance, when importing  hundreds of contacts into a marketing database, it’s easy to forget that each entry represents a living breathing person. Or when speaking to a computer for hours in Python, it takes a moment to switch gears and speak to a colleague in a non-coding language. But in this juxtaposition between data and people lies something beautiful about the way we preserve one another; it’s in our human errors that we’re most alive.

Luckily, there’s likely no better outlet for our precious mistakes than a summer internship. After all, the goal of us six interns’ brief tenure at Net@Work is ultimately to learn; despite how desperately we may try to carry ourselves as if we’re already acclimated to the corporate environment. We not only learn skills pertaining to our respective positions, including Marketing, Finance, Software Development, and more, but also about life, ourselves, and each other.

Perhaps we’ll learn we’ve been writing emails far too formally – akin to Victorian letters – upon realizing all the regular employees use a relaxed “Hi” and “Best” in lieu of our robotic “Dear” and “Sincerely”. Perhaps we’ll learn we’ve been living in bubbles at our individual colleges amidst casual conversations as the team’s diverse backgrounds come to light. Or perhaps we’ll learn we should check that a restaurant isn’t too formal before choosing where to eat with another intern on the first day and inadvertently making a first lunch break awkwardly resemble a first date. But why not make all of these mistakes and more while we have the chance?

So, this summer, if one of us stumbles through a client call, needs an extended explanation about a simple project, or even just uses abnormal email etiquette- we apologize! But we also wholeheartedly thank you for the opportunity to make these mistakes and learn from them.

For some of us, this may be our first internship; for others, our resumes may be about to overflow. Some of us may decide we were born to work in our respective departments; others may discover we can’t stand our fields. But regardless, for all of us, this summer promises to be an invaluable opportunity as we continue to refine ourselves and plot our lives’ trajectories.

Written by Satish Reginald, 2017 Marketing Intern

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