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 new interns to keep a bit of a diary of his experience.
Here’s the third in a series of what he had to say – uncensored!
An intern’s perspective on The Moon (part 3)
Let’s be honest, not everyone has the best “time management skills”. So this week, I had a tonne of work to do and was sent an email requesting work that I had done the week before. It didn’t really register in my brain that it was to be responded to at that exact time, so I continued with my schedule and by the end of business day, I had completely forgotten to respond to that particular email. Next thing, I’m invited to a meeting to discuss my writing… and guess what? The email issue comes up.
As an intern you really want to make as few mistakes as possible, so it’s really scary sitting in a boardroom with two of your superiors telling you how important it is to respond to emails timeously. You see, I’m not one to make excuses, so I sat there writing down notes on this new-found phenomenon. As sweet and light-hearted as the people were, I couldn’t help feeling a sense of guilt.
Funny enough, in the meeting, I was advised on how to say “No”… politely, of course. But how confident are you to say “No” to your superior? Truth is, I say “Yes” to every bit of work I’m given, whether it impacts other projects or not. This has presented quite some difficulty, hence this blog on time management.
As interns we want to please everyone so that we receive astounding recommendations and possibly even get shortlisted for a permanent position within the company, but the reality is that you won’t please everyone and not everyone will like you. Just do your best and it will shine through, naturally.
It’s also very important to make sure that you a) understand people’s expectations and b) prioritise your actions accordingly. The mistake I made was not realising that the email I was asked to send was urgent. If I had been clear about that, instead of being overwhelmed by other deadlines I was already working towards and therefore letting the email fall through the cracks, I would have made it a priority to send the email before carrying on with work that would take much longer to complete.
How about client meetings? If you’ve ever been to one, you will know how long and draining they can be. As an intern, you are literally just there to experience how your colleagues interact with clients and to learn the most appropriate boardroom manners possible. You hardly utter a word and just nod to everything being agreed on.
What I’ve learnt is that the best way to survive in a client meeting is to pay attention and act like you know what’s going on, and avoid yawning and being distracted by the little things, such as your smartphone. If you are confident, you could sneak in a few questions here and there, but be sure not to overdo it.
With these skills in hand, you’re ready to conquer any boredroom… I mean BOARDROOM!