Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

You Won’t Be Told Everything You Have To Know

In the third week of my internship, I needed to travel for work, and that made me so excited. I was put in a team that will be traveling to another city and staying there in a hotel for the whole week. I was so happy that the company I work for valued the work I’ve done and thought I was needed at that site. However, I was also stressful because this was going to be the first time I travel for work, and I had so many questions that needed to be answered. How do we go, train or car? Do I need to wear a tie? Is it appropriate if I sleep in the back seat if we go by car? All I knew was I will be meeting my supervisor at 4:30 AM on Monday in front of her house and we will be coming back on Friday. On the morning of our trip, I had to make a decision about whether or not to put my suit on. Knowing that it’s going to be a long drive, I wore a t-shirt on top of my suit pants and brought my shirt and jacket on a hanger, so they won’t get wrinkled. Unfortunately, the company culture was the other way around, and everybody showed up with their suits on. I learned that we will be directly going to our customer’s office and won’t have time to change. Well, the fact that I should be wearing the suit I brought was a very minor detail that makes sense that no one remembered to tell me, but at the same time, it was very crucial for our schedule. I wished I asked more questions about the small details. I just didn’t want to overwhelm my supervisor with questions before the trip. But now I realized, if I have asked more questions, things would even be easier for her too. She was also sorry that she didn’t let me know about that and said it makes sense that I didn’t show up to a 4-hour ride without the full suit on. We solved the problem pretty easy because we needed to stop to get some gas and I used the time to put my shirt on, however, I still learned a very important lesson: Asking more (and reasonable) questions makes things easier for everyone.

To have a better internship experience, do not assume that if there is something you have to know, you would have told that. The people around you at work have been working with each other for a long time and they are very familiar with the way things are. It is likely that your supervisor will forget to mention some of the small but important details because the supervisor is used to working with people who know them.