As the seventh week of my internship concludes, I have learned that my internship site has numerous strengths in terms of leadership and organizational efficiency, however, there are a few areas that could certainly be ameliorated.
In terms of operational issues at the company, there is a rather unbalanced distribution of work at times, which can hinder the ability to generate the highest quality product. It may just be an issue for me as an intern, and the other interns that I work with have voiced similar opinions, however, sometimes I am assigned numerous projects/assignments that require very short deadlines, while other times, I have very few assignments to complete, leaving me with more than ample time to get them done. When I have these super busy days with many quick-turnaround assignments, I have not always been able to put my best work forward because of the rush to get the tasks done. At these times, I wish I would have known about certain assignments further in advance so that I could have used my time more wisely–working on them on my not so busy days to put forth my best work.
While it is difficult to anticipate exactly what tasks/assignments will come up when in the workplace, it would be more productive for my internship site overall if work was more evenly dispersed time-wise. As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, there are several different teams within my department, and therefore many different projects going on within these teams. It would likely increase efficiency to have more direct communication between leaders of the department’s different teams about what projects are coming up and when, as well as who needs help with these projects. In this way, time could be set aside for upcoming projects further in advance and everyone’s time could be used more productively.
While raising the aforementioned operational issue, I have found that my supervisor and other department leaders do an excellent job of pairing assignments based on my and the other interns’ interests. Whenever I am assigned a task, although the timing may sometimes be rushed, I have really enjoyed the nature of these assignments.
Finally, while the core of my department, and the company in general, is very collaborative–people are constantly bouncing ideas off of one another or working together on projects–the space that we work in itself does not particularly foster collaboration. Each employee has their own desk/cubicle and while there is an open conference room for meetings and leaders leave their office doors open, there is not much open space to work together in groups. Having more free, interactive spaces where employees can work, rather than having to remain at their desks could facilitate more and easier collaboration among employees. It seems that department and company leaders must have noticed this issue with the current office as well, because they are currently building a new office for our department with much more of these collaborative spaces that will be ready by next year!