Lessons From An Awkward Internship: Part 2

Lessons From An Awkward Internship: Part 2

Jaideep Patel relives the horror of his internship as he recalls the lessons learnt.

This is part two of the article. To read part 1, click here.

The adventure begins

Remember that bit about the boss who followed Feng Shui to a T? Well, little would I know that this would immediately impact my work. I was told from Day One to abide by several rules, including:

  1. Avoid black as a colour for my designs (because black equals death)
  2. Avoid using design elements (bars, lines, boxes, etc) in even-numbered groups especially in fours (because four equals death)
  3. Avoid using sharp angles or jagged lines in my designs (because sharp angles and jagged lines equal death).

This was shaping up to becoming the longest 14 weeks of my life, but I couldn’t give up. I had to persevere and complete the tasks given to me. If I was lucky, I’d probably learn something along the way too. Finishing this internship the best way possible became my only goal, eclipsing everything else. Spending another year in university was simply out of the question.

I did what I had to do, and I survived. I made some friends along the way, learnt a few new things, even though it seemed like I was thrown into a lion’s den at first. More importantly, I obtained some valuable takeaways – all of which have stayed with me. When my internship ended, I left the office much wiser than when I first walked in, and that made everything seem OK again.

Lessons learnt

Be thankful
Getting hired for an internship is a two-way street. I had to be thankful that someone somewhere believed in me enough to appoint me as an intern, give me an allowance and trust me with office equipment. Just to be clear, I did not break anything while I was there.

Be yourself
Even when I was surrounded by dubious characters, I had to remain true to myself. I knew that I couldn’t allow this bad experience to change the way I treat others, or change the way I looked at my future.

Be nice
Doing the internship was my first real work experience, which meant I had to work with others. Whether I liked them or not was another question. I had to be polite and helpful every step of the way.

Be hungry
Learning opportunities can be few and far in between, so take every opportunity to educate yourself on something new. I had to learn how to design office stationery, draw seating arrangement plans, and a few other things.