HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Experience is the best Teacher

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Last summer, was a particularly productive one for the likes of me. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in my first internship. My aunt, who works for a financial advising and wealth management firm, convinced her partners to allow me to be an intern in their office. It certainly made me feel more adult. It bolstered my interpersonal skills as well as my morale in a professional sense. It was all very exciting, at first. I acquired vital clerical experience over a course of 2 months. Although it was a paid internship, my aunt (who then became my immediate superior) admonished me to approach my position as if I were an actual full-time and full-fledged employee.  Initially, this certainly seemed like an easy standard to conform to and uphold. Originally the organizational climate of my internship felt very warm and welcoming. My coworkers, who were also my predecessors, as well as my bosses were appeared very amiable and easygoing to help me ease into what later became a very taxing job. In other words, what was originally a supportive climate became a very defensive climate. My first two weeks, my predecessors were very casual when speaking with me, and really reached out to me to help me become acclimated to such a new work setting. During the start of my third week, my boss and supervisor suddenly got more frigid and austere than what I was used to. This sudden solemnity made me feel like I was constantly under pressure up until the end of my internship. They pressured me into executing all of my managerial clerical duties with the utmost efficiency, regardless of whether I had any or enough  with them. Further and further into my time at the firm, I felt that the ice under me was thinning. I was bombarded with more and more  difficult tasks and given less time to fulfill them thoroughly. There were even two instances where I disappointed and was put on the spot in front of my coworkers. After those two moments, I realized that I had no future or interest in accounting.  Fortunately, I persevered and prevailed until the end of my internship. In hindsight, I am happy to have capitalized on such an opportunity.


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