At Blue Moon, we’ve always embraced the idea and practice of internships, because we believe in the value that on-the-job training delivers to promising individuals who can also teach us a thing or two!
We recently beefed up our formal internship programme, in line with the revised BBBEE Codes of Good Practice… and asked one of our interns to keep a bit of a diary of his experience.
Here’s the fourth in a series of what he had to say – uncensored!
An intern’s perspective on The Moon (part 4)
I’m sure that, from my last three blogs, you now understand my perspective on the basics of being an intern – a recollection of my everyday work environment and some tips to help others make the best of their experience.
Today I’m aiming to shed some light on how to find your feet in an organisation and conform to a new environment.
Figuring out how to be part of the scene can at times be frustrating. It was painfully difficult for me, in a new province, trying to differentiate between Sotho and Pedi (amongst a lot of other obstacles, including the weather).
The first thing I did was get to know my co-workers by working on team projects and attending almost all the brainstorms. This stimulated common interests, and built trust and “allies”. I asked a lot of questions when I didn’t understand something. I was friendly and respectful. Trust me, a positive attitude, good manners and healthy work habits will show that you are a professional… or at least trying to be.
Want to be heard?
It takes time to gain the trust of co-workers and get them on board with your ideas, so don’t stress about it. Always remember that you are there to learn.
Always listen and observe before suggesting changes. (I once was in a brainstorm and told everyone present that their ideas were bad… It turned sour real quick, when I was asked what my “brilliant” ideas were, and I had none.) So, bring solutions to the table and engage sincerely, so that people know you’re paying attention.
Most important – and it’s something I strive to do every day – is to try to grow a reputation of being clear-headed, objective, reasonable and responsible.
What about mistakes?
Mistakes happen to anyone. In the workplace, it’s best that you admit them, apologise and move on. Don’t offer excuses or try to cover them up. Instead, offer solutions as soon as possible.
That’s about all the advice I can give right now. I welcome you to the “real” world – an interesting journey, if you really just give it all you’ve got and are willing to keep learning.
It’s all up to you now. Good Luck!
If you missed Njabulo’s previous ‘Diary of an intern’ entries, you can start from the beginning here.