The Baby At The Office
When I signed up to intern at Growth Africa, I knew I’d be one of the youngest employees at the office. However, what I didn’t anticipate was to be the baby of the office. As a 21 year old intern, all my colleagues have all either amassed 10+ years in experience in the Venture Capital world or are in their late 20s about to wrap up their MBA’s. At first it was undoubtedly quite intimidating and I would often avoid saying that I’m only a college senior and would often phrase it as “I’m in my final year at Babson College”, hoping that most of the people we are interacting with will assume I’m referring to an MBA. I think the worst part was when I would attend very important meetings by myself and as the meeting is wrapping up I would always be asked about my background. I usually had 2 options; I either bend the truth or just confess to being a 21 year old college kid; I went with the former more often than not.
Despite all this, while at first it did seem like I was going to have a very uncomfortable time as the “baby” of the office, after interacting more and more with my colleagues, I began to see the advantages of having older colleagues; they are always very willing to help you out and guide you through things that would be pretty obvious to somebody with their experience. They did what your doing, very many years ago and have learnt a lot since i.e. they have all the tricks you could possibly need to drastically improve your efficiency at the office.
All in all, after the many weeks I spent at my internship, I have come to the conclusion that some of the most valuable lessons I picked up this summer are not just from sitting in meetings or googling on my computer, but from picking the brain of my older more experienced colleagues.