Summer Internship with Bank of America – Priyanka from Ramjas College

Daily Winner for: –  28th July 2012

Name of the intern: –  Priyanka

Institute: –  Ramjas College, University of Delhi

Organization interned with: –  Bank of America

It was 14th Feb, 2005, my first day as an intern. As I walked into the office for my internship I was aghast to see red heart shaped balloons, red roses and chocolates on each desk. I rechecked to confirm if this was the same MNC bank that I had been interviewed with. I expected Monday morning tensions, energy, stress et al. But, definitely not Valentine’s Day celebrations! So that is how my internship began, not too bad actually. I was a fresh graduate in Economics honours from one of the best universities in India and, well, had a mountain-size chip on my shoulder. My plan was to work exceptionally hard and dazzle the company with my performance and ultimately land a permanent placement with the bank. There was just one problem, though: the plan seemed a lot easier in my head than in reality. I had to lose my chip first, which seemed like a herculean task then. My immediate team had a very diverse mix of people, comprising a rather older age group, with mixed backgrounds, culture and different mindsets. These were the people that I had to work with for six months, and most importantly, learn from. And of course my attitude did not help. My bohemian, straight-from-college-I-don’t-care attitude rubbed my colleagues the wrong way. People were quick to judge me, some even took wagers on how long I would last. Honestly, I wondered so too. Even though I picked the work within a week’s time, my colleagues did not warm up to me for over 2 months.

I learned to not be Miss Snooty but I still had trouble finding company for lunch. I was miserable and lonely. And then it happened! My boss requested me to help in organizing a birthday celebration for a colleague in office. Having a special qualification (non-certified, of course) in organizing parties it wasn’t difficult for me to rise to the occasion. And just like that, over snacks and colas, I finally managed to break the ice with my colleagues. The rest of my internship was rather smooth. I made great friends and learnt some valuable lessons in life. Looking back, I think part of the reason why my colleagues disliked me was because of the fearless courage and hope of the youth that I carried with me. I reminded them of what it was like to be young and so free. Had I been more intuitive then, I would have identified the real problem sooner. Great lessons in life are learnt from living them. Those six months of internship taught me new lessons in humility. I learnt to respect people who had different opinions. And more importantly, I learnt to differentiate content from flak. In many ways the first internship is like a rite of passage, coming of age etc. In a span of six months I lost my rough edges and ahem, ” yuppiness”. I learnt to be a professional.

As Steve Jobs said, “You cannot join the dots looking forward, you can only join the dots looking backward.” I wouldn’t be the person that I am today had I not taken back some hard hitting lessons from my first internship.

Was this interesting? If yes, please like the post on Facebook (below) and help Priyanka become winner of the week and win the prize (Rs. 1,000/-) that she truly deserves!

 

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