As my summer internship at Monster marches on, I’ve slowly noticed myself getting more and more leeway on the team. As I’ve taken care of the tasks being sent my way, I’m earning more and more leeway to spend my time doing what I think would be most useful for the company. I think that’s a direct result of some idiosyncrasy credit I have built up already, much to my surprise.
I think that this process began my very first day with the company, three weeks ago now. My boss’s boss ended up having two meetings cancel that afternoon, and he called me into his office to ask me how I was enjoying my first day and what I saw this summer internship being. At least, that’s what the conversation started off as; I was very intentional with the questions I asked and the tone I struck. Three and a half hours later, I had gotten a shockingly frank deep dive into the state of the company, the projects his team was currently working on, and the financial theory and models that his team had developed to address these issues. Apparently he was impressed with the direction the conversation took, and by the end of the day he had sent an email to the person whose reference brought me to the company about how impressed he was! By the second day, he had given me a very important project we had discussed the previous day, and my supervisor told me they wanted me to make headway on it and maybe get an overview of the key issues by the end of the summer.
Two weeks later, I was done with their initial ask and my presentation on the project was in front of the leaders of the Product team. Additionally, during the process I found a problem with the current approach to the issue which, without giving away too much for NDA purposes, was a really big deal. I’ve had C-level execs stop by my desk since the issue was discovered to thank me for finding it!
All of that to say, I’ve been doing my best to produce quality work and respect the fact that they took a chance on me as an intern. And, I’m excited to say, the idiosyncrasy credit I’ve built up already by doing this has allowed me to take on a second project of my own volition. I had a pretty wild idea about a cutting-edge technology our company could potentially benefit from. I’ve been given the bandwidth to pursue the idea and build a business case examining the value this tech could bring us and our clients, quantify that value, and weigh it against the risks. I expected to be doing very menial, coffee run/data entry type work this summer. Instead, by my fourth week I’m diving into a highly confidential, forward looking idea of my own creation that would be very huge if it was adopted eventually. I really think that the idiosyncrasy credit I built during my first couple of weeks gave my coworkers and my bosses the confidence to allow me to ask the types of questions, which won’t be popular in other departments, that I’ll need to ask to complete this project.