iSchool student Shanyah Saunders will complete the EY Leaders Program over the summer. Times Square image courtesy of www.flickr.com/pianista_215/

Tips for Overcoming Your Internship Challenges

Picture this: It is my first official day at EY. I am dressed for success in a brand new outfit. My EY shoulder bag is stuffed with my company computer and internship handbook that weigh me down as I trek from New Jersey to New York City.

I am wearing my favorite accessories: confidence and a smile. I am ready to absorb all that I can. I walk into my first advisory meeting at 9:00 am. That’s when I realize that all my fellow interns and I have not yet been assigned to a team.

This is when I faced my first challenge at my internship: patience.

Here is a list of a few challenges I have faced so far and a few tips I believe to be helpful.

First Tip: Have Patience

On my first official day at EY, some of my fellow interns and I were challenged to be patient as we awaited our team assignment. We were all a part of the advisory service line at EY and each of us were to be assigned to an advisory team based on our major.

The advisory service line at EY is focused on collaborating with clients to come up with solutions for the client’s complex industry issues and bringing new opportunities for growth to the client. For many of us, this internship is our first exposure to the corporate world. Most of us were feeling anxious about waiting for team assignments.

It dawned on me that not being assigned immediately like the other half of the interns had its perks. Not only did I make friends faster, but I also got to spend a couple of days exploring EY and its culture. Together, my friends and I helped each other master the tricky aspects of our internship, such as: completing additional onboarding activities, booking desk space via EY’s system, using the right set of elevators, finding the café, memorizing the acronyms and jargon, and learning how to use all the different communication methods.

Looking back, the two days I spent patiently waiting for my assignment turned out to be a surprisingly valuable time. It allowed me to become comfortable in the office by getting to know with my fellow interns, my supervisor and other employees.

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Second Tip: Meet New People

Making friends with other interns is great but, networking and meeting other EY staff is just as important. During training, we were told to put ourselves out there and try to meet as many new people as we can. This was a challenge for me because even though I was comfortable in the work environment, I was still nervous to go up to someone, introduce myself and offer my assistance. After all, I’m just an intern.

To overcome this challenge, I began talking to people in the elevator or on line for food in the café, emailing the people who presented in training to meet for coffee and reaching out to my supervisor when I have questions. I soon learned that I am not just an intern and that the EY staff do want to get to know all of us. The more questions we ask the more excited they are to talk about their current project or engagement.

Third Tip: Communication

Every company has its own method for communicating with its employees. In the beginning, getting used to the different communication platforms was a little difficult. There are specific security procedures that must be followed to protect the sensitive data at the firm.

Mastering all types of communications quickly is important. I want to be able to contact other people in the office and vice versa. I have found a few ways to overcome this challenge. You can reach out to other interns, go to the IT support department, read the intern handbook, or ask someone in the office.

Feeling Confident in a Corporate Environment

In many ways, the iSchool has prepared me for my internship. I learned from EntreTech NYC to always have a short introduction about myself. I include my name, college, year, interests and what I hope to gain from my internship.

Another takeaway from iSchool group projects is the importance of chat, like Slack or GroupMe. EY uses instant messaging for quick and informal communications as well. Lastly, I learned from EntreTech and career fair experience that it is essential to always build my professional network. I collect business cards, use LinkedIn, and follow up with those connections. In addition, I ask people questions about what they are working on. My colleagues love to talk about their current projects, and it is important to understand wh.

Although I am only week one into my internship, I have learned a great deal about myself. I understand how I should carry myself within a company like EY. The most significant thing I took away from this week is to be both patient and confident. I am not just an intern, and I should introduce myself to other people in the office. I learned that it is important to ask people questions about what they are working on. My colleagues love to talk about current projects.

Shanyah Saunders

Shanyah Saunders

Shanyah rising Junior from East Orange, New Jersey studying Information Management and Technology in the iSchool. Shanyah is pursuing a career in front-end web development and web design, and in her free time loves photography and traveling.

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