Due to planning, I flew into Atlanta from Berlin at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evening and I started training for this summer's internship on Monday morning. It was exciting: getting up, driving to the city, slightly worrying about the traffic and finding a place to park in the office parking deck. Then I entered into the sea of interns, hoping to find a familiar face from UGA. The rest of the week is a blur of new people, new information, and new experiences like riding Marta for the first time. I realized that my "social interaction tank" had been exhausted by being with 19 other people on my study abroad and then all the Southeast interns. It was the first time in my life that I could actually tell I hadn't had enough "me" time.
I got to recharge over the weekend which I am sensing is going to become a norm with this working girl lifestyle. There isn't enough downtime during the week to worry about anything besides getting through the daily routine. One of the things I have missed the most over the past month has been running on a regular basis and now that I am out of the routine it's so hard to get back into it. I am waiting for the day when my body forces me to go do it which I am sensing is going to be pretty soon.
Another part of this internship experience is travel, so come Monday morning I was back on a plane heading to my first client engagement. It was definitely interesting getting up super early to catch a flight and then working a full day at the client. It was a day full of newness including the city, the rental car, and the hotel room. It was also another day of meeting new people and putting on my "A" game at all times. I am fortunate that by the end of this internship I will be more comfortable walking into a new situation and immediately feeling comfortable enough to break out of my shell. Last summer, it took me about two weeks to feel comfortable in the office. This summer I might only be on a client for two weeks, so I have to show the team how I operate in a shorter amount of time.
The client work is great. It definitely challenges me to expand my knowledge and it is aligned with the the classes that I enjoyed in college. I need to ask more questions but I am sure that will come as I am given harder controls to test. Also there is a lot of flexibility combined with managing your own schedule. The way we were working this week makes me feel like I have more hours in my day but I just have to get the motivation to use them wisely. Also I get to work from Atlanta on Friday which means understanding what the team expects from me before leaving the office on Thursday. It will be interesting to see how my other client operates in three weeks but so far I am satisfied.
I can definitely tell a difference between this summer and last summer. I have found work that challenges me to learn and aligns with why I thought I was getting an accounting degree. It can be lonely at times traveling by myself and the team is not as chatty during the day. But I can see progress on the controls testing and every day is different. So yes, this internship is another new beginning that will provide me with its share of ups and downs, but I am more ready then ever to take on the challenge and become the best version of me!