Building character and experience is the primary reason students apply for internships. This includes working on projects or real-world problems in order to prepare them for their first steps out of the academic realm.

For any project that I have worked on, there has always been one, if not many, problems that are seemingly impossible to solve. Overcoming these obstacles helps develop your individual skills. They also allow you to build relationships with various members of your team by facing an obstacle together to achieve the same goal.

Seeing my progression as I had begun to build milestones gave me a feeling of accomplishment. More importantly, it helps me to celebrate the success of overcoming problems and pushing through after multiple failures.

An IT professional’s perspective on moving offices

The largest and most impactful project that I have worked on so far would be the “Gensler Move.” Although the move took place in the same building, the impact of this move would be felt throughout the entire office.

With over 300+ in the DC office moving, as well as the implementation of new equipment and hardware, the feat was not only physically draining but also mentally.

Due to the IT team staying long into the next morning, we actually managed to completely transfer all of the workstations. We also took care of various minor issues that popped up along the way.

After the physical move, it took some time for people to get acclimated to their new work environment as well as to smooth out any IT related problems.

Feeling accomplished and helpful

With the most challenging project now behind me, I can see the impact of all of the team’s efforts.

When I first arrived, the third floor was a large dusty room with a lot of cables and power tools. Now it hosts a large chunk of Gensler’s staff.

On occasion, there were issues with the network or setting up the new equipment for the introduction to a new type of seating style in the Gensler environment. Regardless of the issue, my team pushed through and completed our work.

After the setup, I got to look around and felt an immense amount of accomplishment and pride, regardless of how small my part was. “I got to help set this up,” I thought.

There’s no replacement for real-world experience

During this arduous process, I have been developing skills that, when utilized, will assist me in endeavors outside of this internship.

Working on a team has helped to better evolve my communication skills by implementing it in an actual work environment rather than an academic setting.

This includes hands-on technical hardware experience on how to set up and maintain workstations. It also includes various behind-the-scenes issues that need to be dealt with in order to achieve a functional workplace.

Taking the time to recognize personal achievements

A milestone is part of the journey, while a celebration of your efforts is an end-result. Being able to look back and see the impact that my developmental contributions have made has been very important. It gives a visual on my errors and successes while emphasizing my evolution and change.

Being able to celebrate, even if it’s treating yourself to a smoothie, is imperative. You’re not only celebrating the end of the project, you’re celebrating your personal transformation.

by Taylor Lucero