For at least six months, I drove myself (and I guess Dr. GK) crazy about where I wanted to intern. I changed my mind at least 5 times. It started off with a Portugal dream in November. Come APRIL, I 100% wanted to do DC. I had a simple strategy: I didn’t have to return to Philly in the fall and so was ready to move to the city that I wanted to find employment in. I thought it was a good idea to get a feel of DC and to get a headstart on networking and making friends here.
As luck would have it, EDC was still looking for an intern in April and so I was connected to them. My first interaction with them was a group skype interview which involved four supervisors. It was definitely overwhelming (think it lasted for an hour and a half!) but it made me realize from the very get go that this organization takes everything they do pretty seriously… even hiring an intern! Each supervisor spent at least 10 minutes introducing themselves and their role to me. I thought the interview went pretty smoothly and I immediately felt comfortable with them. When I told them I was Lahore-sick, they were more than happy to allow me to travel home for two weeks and start the internship in the second week of June. It’s the little things.
My First Day
EDC has three main offices. Their headquarters is in Boston, DC is their second largest office and New York their third largest. When I entered the DC office, I was greeted by my supervisor Cecilia Torres who is an International Project Coordinator. Cecilia took me around the office and introduced me to every colleague she could find.
Everyone came out of their office to welcome me and say hello. Cecilia then took me to the main kitchen to introduce me to my future best friend: the famous EDC coffee machine which is hands down my favourite part of working at EDC. It makes 15 different hot drinks and is absolutely free.
Before I could mentally calculate how much this machine would save me per month, I was shown to my cubicle which had a brand new PC ready for me to get cracking. A few hours of Mac User- PC suffering later, Cecilia, her supervisor Ann and Ann’s supervisor Melanie took me for lunch. We went to Bangkok Joes, a popular restaurant in the area. The lunch gave me an opportunity to connect with Cecilia, Ann, and Melanie and to see the Washington Harbour which is a 1 minute walk from our office. When we returned, I discovered my inbox was flooded with welcome messages as Cecilia had sent an EDC wide email welcoming me to the organization. I also had a couple people stop by my cubicle to say hi. When the manager stopped by, she asked what my favorite tea was so that she could order it with the next batch of teas. Naturally I was bowled over by their kindness, and driven to contemplate the big difference small gestures make. I also felt a little sad thinking about my first day on the job back home at Lahore Grammar School, where you were thrown in the deep to fend for yourself. Interestingly, all of these small gestures (well other than the free coffee) didn’t cost the organization a penny: just some time, consideration and thought.
It’s the little things from my first day which made me feel the stress and anxiety inducing changes in my purpose and plan were worth it. I can only hope the coming days validate the feeling! Stay tuned for more!