Intern Help Guide Week 2-3 ⚡️ Things Get Easier

So by week 2 and 3, you will have a better hang of things. You’ll really see who is on your team, have a better idea of what you’re doing, and things will start to make sense. Some of those crazy acronyms will start clicking and you’ll have a lot of “OH I KNOW WHAT THAT IS” moments. Safe to say, I still get lost on my floor LOL.

My week 3 was jam-packed with this thing called PI Planning. Program Increment planning is basically a two-day planning meeting for the next quarter. This is done within an Agile. There is a lot of things that go into it. From logistical stuff to more of the in-depth planning. If your organization follows Agile, which is basically a practice of business to make teams and tasks run more efficiently, you’ll most likely do this. To all the business people: my definition of Agile is broad so don’t come for me LOL.

I will go into a post talking more about Agile but just know that it’s a business practice a lot of companies are switching to in the technology world because of how fast and efficient it can make teams. Technology is being developed at a record fast rate and the business needs to find a way to manage it: Agile. The idea of open floor plans and no cubicles is also the result of Agile.

I learned a lot during that time. It was a really interesting experience to see how all the different tasks came together and how they all related to one another. There are so many teams that depend on another. It’s a crazy experience for sure. I am in sponge mode and took it all in. It was cool to see how everything we were talking about fit into the grand scheme of things. Most people find this stuff boring but I love to see how people work.

Week 2

Week 2 is a great time for you to sit and have your 1:1. Your 1:1 can be with your mentor or manager. Anyone who can give you feedback on your performance, outline your goals, and address any questions or concerns. I schedule mine every two weeks. Feedback is super important no matter where you are in your career. Even executives get feedback. 1:1’s is your time to sit with your manager and talk about YOU. Your internship is your place to learn. This will give you an opportunity to see what you’re doing well and not so well.

  • They shouldn’t be more than 1 hour. 30 minutes is a good time frame.
  • Be prepared. Go in with questions, concerns, or thoughts about your performance.
  • Ask: what can I do to better support the team? what can I do to improve myself in this area? What advice would you give for _________? Who would you recommend I sit and grab coffee with>
  • Set your goals early. If you are in a technical role, mix it between technical and non-technical skills. Soft skills matter too. You should have 5-7 goals for your internship. At the end of your internship, you should have a few things you can take back with you to school or in another job.
    • For example, I want to improve my confidence in speaking to people in executive positions or I want to develop strong relationships within the company

You may hear some stuff you may not like. Don’t take it personally and ask how you can improve. If they say you’re doing great and you don’t anything to improve on, ask them how you can support your team better. There is always something that can be improved on.

Week 3

By week 3 you’ll have a pretty clear idea of how the rest of your summer will look like. You are almost at that halfway mark, YAY!!!! ⭐🍾🔥 Can you believe how fast it’s going?

  • Set up time with other people from different teams to really get to know the company but make sure it doesn’t interfere with your work. Ask the people on your team to see who they would recommend you to meet with. It can be your business partners, engineers, analysts, anyone. 30 mins for coffee or a lunch is fine.
  • Great a timeline of your project, what needs to get done, and when. You have deliverables to meet by the end of your internship. Make sure the right questions are being asked
  • The end of week 3 and around week 4 you’ll start to see where you fit within the company. You won’t have to give a response right away but ideally, you’ll know whether or not you want to come back to this company as a full time or returning intern. Be honest with yourself. Does this job or this company speak to what you stand for? Is the work fulfilling?  Sometimes the team may not be the team for you but the company is. There’s no rush in figuring that out but you should start thinking about it.

I hope all of your internships are going well. I heard a lot of positive feedback from the first week and I am so glad I get to share my experiences with you all. Thank you to everyone listening. I love hearing from you guys on Instagram. If you don’t already, please follow me @tkhoub for more Is Anyone Really Listening?

What I’ve Learned From: Slowing Down

If you haven’t noticed, I have been MIA on my blog for the past week and I wanted to get on here to explain why, what I’ve learned, and what you can do if you feel like you need to take a second to stop and slow down.

So let’s get personal…

I took this week off because I was struggling a lot mentally. I had a lot of down days and honestly just didn’t feel like myself. I knew I needed a break because sitting in my room alone with my own mind was really dangerous. I (tried) to rely on those around me as much as possible without feeling too much like a burden. Thankfully, I have a few people I always go to who were gentle, welcoming, and kind which is exactly what I needed. I was stressed about so much that I couldn’t even begin to explain to you what exactly it was. I wasn’t doing the best of taking care of myself and I had a strong realization one night that the living that I was living in someways was not my normal and I was not okay with that. Something had to change. Also, some other things happened that triggered this setback but I won’t get into that.

Going into spring break, I was really sick. Like physically sick. I am the type of person that gets awful fevers in general so my body was fighting off a terrible virus for like 4 days. I would sweat a lot in my sleep, feel super cold, then get hot again. Some kombucha and sudafed and lots of sleep thankfully cured my god awful illness. Anyways, in the midst of that I was having really bad anxiety attacks. I didn’t know what was happening and TMI but I was also on my period so it was just a few days of what felt like actual hell.

I took that as a huge sign from myself that I NEED to slow down. I was doing way too many things at once and tried to play this role that clearly was super unhealthy for me. I knew my body was telling me something but I can be pretty stubborn so I didn’t listen. It took for me to get really sick for me to be like “okay, take a second”. So I gave myself the permission to slow down. What that meant was: no content, no laptop, no work, and no bullshit. I wasn’t putting up with anything or anyone that was bringing me down or leeched my energy. Call it selfish, I call it self-love because let me tell you, I needed it. I tried to be more present in everything I did and it was a challenge at times not going to lie but I managed to stay present most of the week so I am proud of myself.

I was thankful because I had a girls trip to the beach coming up so I knew I was about to be around some awesome girls and the beach. What more could you ask for, honestly? I am so thankful I went on this trip because the people that I was surrounded around had the most amazing spirit. They brought some life back into me that I thought was gone. I even cried because I was so thankful for them and who they were.

The trip was like the movies. Girls sitting, braiding each others hair, doing each others makeup, taking pictures, and talking about boys. It was the sleepover I have always dreamt about. Each one of those girls was so unique, beautiful, and special in their own way. You wouldn’t think we’d have anything in common but we do and honestly it was the best girls night(s) I have ever been on. I had my own personal struggles along the way but being around those girls was the perfect distraction for me.

Sometimes we need to slow down. Even if it’s for a few moments. We need to sit with ourselves or in my case, surround ourselves with people that “get” us. I didn’t know these girls for long but I really felt like they understood me. They saw me for who I was and not what I was going through. We didn’t even talk about what was happening and it wasn’t even that emotional of a trip but just being around them and being surrounded by people who LOVE you really made the world of a difference for me. I am very lucky to have been heard and it showed me what true, honest friendship looks like. I never felt like I had a family here in North Carolina and I felt like the sky is always falling but for a few days the sky wasn’t falling and I think I found my family. If I didn’t slow down and focus on myself, I wouldn’t have been able to realize that the world is not crumbling even when it felt like it was. Moving forward, I think I am going to protect my energy more and listen to the earlier signs of support that I need or even being more present in the moment instead of worrying about things that happened or will happen.

What I learned from this is that when I gave myself permission to slow down I opened myself to so many other amazing people and things that I wouldn’t have been able to connect with. I am coming back to my platform and my brand with fresh eyes and a clearer vision. Instead of focusing my energy on the things that were already said and done I channeled my anxious energy into the people and things that make ME happy.

 

What I’ve Learned From: Being Cheated On ☕

Sadly, I know a lot of people who have gone through this so these lessons aren’t just my own. These are lessons that I’ve learned from people that have gone through the same emotions that I have. In order to protect the identity of those involved, there are no names. My intention with this is NOT to bash this person or to harm his image in anyway shape or form. I am also no relationship expert so what’s written is from my experience and some other people’s experience as well. 

My aim is to offer any comfort or relief to anyone who can connect to this story. I am a story teller and this my truth… I’ve written and rewritten this post several times but I think it would do a disservice to anyone who is listening if I didn’t tell this story that has impacted the last 6 months of my life.. 

Without going in too much detail, I was cheated on in November and he was not the one who told me, she did. I had no connection to this girl and for the most part him and I were on really good terms before it happened. I happened to FaceTime about 15 minutes before the cheating commenced. We were together for about 3 months. The nature of our relationship past or present doesn’t matter too much because this post is reflecting on the lessons myself and others have learned.

So let’s get personal…

Obviously, I was really affected by this and I kept asking myself and him “why”. We weren’t the perfect couple but then again who is? There wasn’t anything lacking in the relationship. I can confidently say this because we have spoken about this over and over again. I realize that with things like this there isn’t a good why. There is no valid reason, excuse, or explanation.

Its a painful experience, I remember crying over it for days and just kept asking God, why? why me? why couldn’t he call me, I was right there? why? why? why? Since I couldn’t find the why in it, I blamed myself. I told myself it was me because it had to be. After I spoke to some other people who went through this, I realized that this is a very common thing to do. You begin to blame yourself and question your worth. You think that you could have done more in the relationship or that you did something to cause this when really that’s not the case. That’s what I did and it led me down a very dark path of insecurities, anxiety, and feeling inadequate. You start to think of yourself less because they chose that person over you so naturally you’re going to wonder what they had that you didn’t. It’s perfectly normal to feel those emotions when you face something like this. I depended on my friends and family a lot. I looked to them and God for answers that I don’t think I’ll ever receive because like I said before there isn’t a good why.

After some time, I was able to recognize that cheating had nothing to do with me. It was a conscious choice this person made despite being in a committed relationship. They didn’t think about me or how it would change the dynamic of the relationship as a whole. They had several opportunities to stop, step back, and walk away. You didn’t do anything wrong, you didn’t drive them to cheat, it’s none of that. There are no excuses because this is a one sided, selfish choice.

I’m not saying cheaters are bad people but cheating and infidelity can affect people beyond what you may think. It betrays that barrier of trust you have with your partner and frankly, everyone around you. You start to question every move and if you choose to take that person back (I know, I know 🙄) you begin to question and speculate EVERYTHING. Even the small stuff that didn’t matter before. You also associate to every wrongdoing to that action. For example, if they do something that is a little suspicious you go crazy mentally and your reasoning is “I can’t trust this person, they cheated on me”. Something like this can make anyone go insane because you’re wondering who are they texting, are they being honest with you, do they really like you or love you.

Your mind cycles in a wheel of different thoughts, feelings, and emotions. For me, it started with: what did I do/what was he lacking to how could he to why did he and it looped over and over again. Slowing my brain down and stopping it from affecting me was the greatest problem because this action fed into every insecurity I had about myself, him, and the relationship. Also it made me wonder if this was what love was supposed to feel like when in my heart I knew it wasn’t. The person who cheated on you did not love you in that moment because if they did they would stop and think.

No, love does not feel like that. I had to accept that because your self worth is not defined by someone else’s inconsiderate actions. Something like this can destroy even the strongest of people but it doesn’t always have to.

You need to trust your gut. If you are in tune with yourself, then you need to go with your intuition. It’s probably right as bad as it is. Trusting yourself enough to walk away from something that is toxic because of their wrongdoing is not a bad thing. I learned from my mistake (no he didn’t do it again) but the infidelity caused so much additional stress, anguish, and pain that didn’t need to happen in the first place. Do I regret taking this person back? No, because the relationship itself taught me a lot about people in general. Also, no matter how much you try: you cannot be with someone who you don’t trust. 

Being the type of person I am and I’m sure many of you can empathize, I ended up forgiving them but it’s normal if you don’t. Forgiveness is on your terms and shouldn’t be forced. Your partner should never force you to forgive them or “just move on from it” because things like that are scaring and they hurt for a long time. It’s okay if you don’t forgive them but choose to be with them.

I could write a series on this topic alone but healing looks differently for everyone.  Just remember you will move past this, this is NOT your fault, and you didn’t do anything to deserve it. Down the road as far as it may seem, you will realize that your self worth shouldn’t be reduced to this one person. Some relationships can move past it and be perfectly okay but mine and a few others weren’t as successful.

As I continue to grow past this experience, I am redefining what love means for myself and relationships. I am stronger because of this experience and would never wish this pain upon anyone. Though it’s been three months, I sometimes find myself asking why and looking for answers. The biggest thing I’ve learned throughout all of this is that the emotions will come in waves and some will be much bigger than others but when it comes, stand strong, face it, and let it pass you. Healing and moving forward takes time and it looks so different on everyone but what do I know that is constant is that the love you have in your heart and the truth that you live and put out into this world will come back to you.  Do not let this experience define you or your future relationships because of this experience. No one is worth sacrificing yourself, mental, or physical health.

This was my story and my truth 💜

What I’ve Learned from: Internships

Internships are a great way to learn more about any field. They say that you learn more in internships than you will in your four years. After having a few, I agree with that sentiment. I have interned with a couple startups and have had 2 summers of experience as a data and business analyst for Quicken Loans in Detroit. On top of that, I am always asking for advice from my mentors and peers about how to hack your own internship and make the best use of it. What I have learned is NOT limited to just internships, it can be applied to any job or experience that you currently have.

  1. Shadow
    Shadowing is an awesome way to network with people and other positions that you want to learn more about. If you are in a technical role and your team is supporting technology from another area of the company, it may be a good idea to learn more about how the people using that tech are going about interacting with the technology you’re building. Other than that, it offers a great way to learn more about an area that you may be interested in but do not know enough about. A google search is great but real life experience that is open and available is a lot more beneficial. I learned about my passion for data analytics after shadowing a data architect. Shadows can be all day or even 30 minutes. Cold email someone from the company you’re working for and say “Hello _____, my name is _________. I am curious to learn more about your team and what you do. I was wondering if you or someone from your team has 30 minutes for me to come by to shadow. Regards, _____”. It’s super simple! Ask your coworkers if they know anyone in particular that may be interesting to shadow and please please please have someone review and check your email before you send it.
  2. Get out of your head
    To some degree, you will have some imposter syndrome. You are around a lot of very hard working, intelligent people so you may think “why would they choose me?”. First things first, you are intelligent and you are smart. There is a reason you are there otherwise they have a pool of other candidates to choose from. Congrats, you are one of them! Be proud of that. That’s not easy. You are going to be your biggest critic and sometimes you can get in your own way. I’ve not done certain projects because I was afraid of failing and I missed out on opportunities when I realized how easy it was for me to do. My mentor last summer even told me to be more confident because I am fully capable I just had to give myself enough credit. If you look at #6, you will see that I say to ask questions. If you think you’re wrong or you aren’t sure what you’re doing, ask. There should be no shame in asking a question. Take ownership of the things you’ve done right but also take responsibility when you’ve messed up. Everyone makes mistakes, they happen
  3. Schedule 1:1
    I like doing one on one’s every two weeks since internships are typically 10-12 weeks long. This is way for you to get feedback from your mentor or someone who works closely with you. If you want to you can even ask for a 1:1 with someone you worked on a project with. This is a perfect place to ask questions about your career, salary negotiate (if you are full time), learn more about the other person’s experience. I highly recommend this if you are an intern. It shows that you are interested in learning about yourself and how you can improve
  4. Always be accessible but know your limits
    This was the hardest thing for me to get and to this day I still struggle with saying “no” in a job. I make myself accessible to take on work and then get a bit overwhelmed when I have taken on too much. I am always afraid on losing an opportunity to learn so sometimes if a task was brought up to me that needed my help I needed to say “I’m sorry I can’t help you with that right now but I know someone who may be able to”. As an intern, it’s okay because all of this is new for you and somethings take longer than what takes other team members only 10 minutes or a couple hours. You are there to learn and if you are lucky enough to have a supportive team, they will understand and even help you
  5. Ask questions, all of them
    There is a time and place to ask questions. Do not ask a simple question in a room full of 30 people. That is really scary but I always encourage finding 2-3 people (your mentor included) that you can feel comfortable enough asking simple questions. The amount of times I have asked someone how to do an outer apply is probably too much to count but them answering your question reduces the amount of time you spend figuring it out. Obviously, be a problem solver don’t ask for anything but if you have spent more than 30 minutes trying to figure it out, ask. It’s a learning experience for both you and the person you are asking. If you need someone to review an email or a project before you send it out, that is a great opportunity to ask questions. If you are not sure, ASK. You don’t want to send the wrong email or say the wrong thing when you could’ve asked someone.
  6. (Do your best) to not be on your phone
    I’ll be honest sometimes this is a hard one for me because I can’t help myself sometimes. I sound like an addict to my phone but its not that serious. Do your best to do SOMETHING even if you have nothing to do. Research more about a technical skill, shadow, look at the task board to see if you can help anyone with anything, ask someone questions on what they are doing and if you really have nothing else to do ask your mentor or someone else to give you work to do.
  7. Go to the intern events
    I know some intern events can be “lame” but go anyway. You are there for a short amount of time and honestly some of the best people I have met have been through my internships and I still talk to them to this day. You never know where you can meet someone or learn something and this is a great way for you to relax with people who understand some of the intern struggles. If you are a more introverted person, then by all means do whatever you are comfortable with but sometimes going isn’t the worst thing

 

Let me know if this was helpful at all. Like or share it with someone who needs some extra support as they apply to their next internship!