We were grateful this Summer to welcome Karen Bolivar from Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Professional Summer Internship Program (PSIP). In Karen’s role as a Strategic Growth Intern, she visited client sites, took a Community Tour of Latin American Studies Association (LASA), participated in Introductory Calls to CEPHR Prospects, attended Strategic Kick-Off Calls with new clients, attended a client Recruitment Strategic Planning Meeting, took a tour at our Ice Cream client’s Production Facility, met with CEPHR Strategic Alliance Partners for Informational Interviews, worked on helping CEPHR create efficiencies in our Client On-Boarding processes, collaborated on, contributed to, and presented at a client Gender Inclusivity Training, and offered invaluable, diverse perspectives throughout her Summer Internship.We are proud of Karen’s achievements and grateful for the value she has added to the business. We wish her the best in her last year of Studies and Career! Karen has documented her Summer Internship Experience in this month’s Blog.
When online classes were first introduced at CMU I was overjoyed, no more awkward interactions with classmates you didn’t know, being able to grab a snack at any point during class from the kitchen, being in the comfort of my own house, and most exciting being able to wear pajamas all day without anyone looking at you weirdly.
After two weeks of this paradise, everything that was once good became bad. I found myself getting distracted by everything. Wearing pajamas all day made me lazy and bored. I found myself going from sitting in front of my laptop in class at the dining room table to sitting in front of my iPad and laptop doing homework at the dining room table. There was no way to differentiate classes, work, talking with friends, which also was done by sitting in front of a screen at the dining room table. It made each day long and hard and at some points, I didn’t even know what day it was. The cycle became endless and I dreaded having to go through it every day. The weekends were no different, re-watching lectures, doing homework, and an occasional walk around the neighborhood. After about 5 semesters of this vicious cycle, it finally came to an end, and we were able to go back to in person classes.
Being able to walk into a lecture hall never felt so good. I found that the commute from my apartment to campus was so refreshing. All the small things that I once found annoying, frustrating, or awkward were the best things of my day.
I had never had the chance to experience office life before this summer. I was ecstatic to learn that I would be given the opportunity to work in an office this summer. I did not know what to expect and all I had to go off of were the 2 in person semesters I had.
Walking into the office the first day was overwhelming, yet exciting. I was nervous about the people I would see, if I would be wearing the right thing or not, and even how I would adapt to working in a public space. When classes were in person, I would always do my homework from the comfort of my own room, or in an empty classroom, basically, anywhere where I was not surrounded by people. Going from that to working in a public area was definitely stress inducing, but very necessary to overcome.
I found that taking breaks from sitting in the same place throughout the day helps to calm my nerves. Even taking a short walk from my desk to the bathroom and back is a nice way to stretch out my legs and help clear my head for a bit before going back to work. It is not only a good way to relax me physically, but mentally as well.
Over the summer I had two different kinds of days. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday was an in person at the office kind of day, and Tuesdays were remote days.
Picture this: Wake up at 8:00am, brush my teeth, shower, get dressed and do my hair. Then eat a quick breakfast, grab my bag and keys, and head out the door. Sing along to some Harry Styles in the car as I make my commute to the office. Walk into the office at 9:00am, say good morning to Tiffany, the CEO of CEPHR and my boss, then sit down at my desk area where I am greeted by Elizabeth’s beaming smile. Elizabeth is a Sophomore who also goes to CMU, we are both a part of the same club on campus, and being able to see a familiar face in the office made me feel more comfortable. We chat about how our day has been as I set myself up to start the day. We have sporadic conversations throughout the day until she leaves to go home. I have about an hour to myself after she leaves to send any end of the day e-mails, wrap up what I’ve been working on, and plan for the next day. Before I know it, my workday has ended. I pack up, make my way around to Tiffany to say goodbye. Then get in the car and blast some more Harry Styles during the car ride back home.
Now on Tuesdays my day looks a bit more like this: wake up at 8:40am, brush my teeth, get changed, and eat breakfast. Make my commute from the kitchen to my desk, open my laptop, slack message Tiffany ‘good morning,’ and then start my day. After maybe a meeting or two, and working on projects, my workday comes to an end. I get up out of my desk chair and start my commute to the kitchen.
Now personally, I prefer going into the office. Not only do I feel more productive, but I also get to listen to at least six Harry Styles songs to and from work! On top of this, I also love the idea of being able to have an environment change when it comes to separating work and relaxation. I live in a one bedroom apartment off campus. It is not very big, and only has the basics: A bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and a very small living room area. It is harder to have that separation when I am working from home with the set up I have. Going into the office makes it so that there is a distinct change, which I think helps to increase my productivity.
Remote days aren’t all that bad. They come in handy when sicknesses pop up or other emergency situations where you cannot make it into the office. Of course they are still not my favorite, but sometimes it is very necessary to have a remote day. I am grateful they exist, so if that situation were to arise where you get sick or have to fly back home for a family or medical emergency, you are still not missing out on work.
Overall, being able to experience office life has not only prepared me for any future job that I may have, but also for my school life by teaching me that working in a public setting surrounded by people has its perks. I am very grateful to have been able to have this experience working in the office and especially working with Tiffany at CEPHR. I will carry the lessons I’ve learned with me through the rest of my work life.
Resources and CEPHR Happenings:
- We’re excited to announce that Our CEO Tiffany Castagno has proudly been selected as a ChangeMaker for a Jefferson Award- Check out the Fall 2022 Announcement Press Release to learn more about this prestigious National Award!
- Our Strategic Alliance Partner, NorthStar Solutions and Services, led by its Founder, Meenakshi Iyer, is hosting a Conversations That Matter Series to demystify Leadership and create a Future of Work that works for everyone! You can find more information to register here!