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In the middle of my last week of summer, I was wrapping up an internship with a public accounting firm in Atlanta and trying my best to switch gears from 40 hours a week and no homework, to 16 hours of class and twice that spent in the SLC. I finished up my last day of work, rolled into Athens the same evening, and was able to catch a great concert at the newly restored Georgia Theatre. In my opinion, an ideal transition from the ATL to the Classic City. The next two mornings were spent with our wonderful Career Center staff who enthusiastically greeted me bright and early for the necessary training I would need to begin my time as a CDI.

Fast-forward through the weekend and first day of class, and I’m back in Clark-Howell Hall for my first day of work. Although I was ready to dive into resume critiques, mock interviews, and brainstorming for the fall CDI project, my first day was spent in short meetings dubbed “One-on-Ones” with the various Career Consultants. Though I had briefly met most of the Career Center staff during training, these casual, half-hour conversations provided just as much information as formal training. In addition, I was able to learn about each consultant’s background, as well as share my own. The insight from each person was remarkable.

While I was a little surprised this was the first step for my new position, I honestly shouldn’t have been. At the start of my summer internship, the members of my team took me on a tour of the office and introduced me to the people I would be collaborating with the most. I put forth an effort to make conversation with my coworkers at every opportunity, and by the end of twelve weeks I felt comfortable with the majority of the more than 100 professionals in my office.

This crucial and important step in becoming a part of an organization is easily overlooked. People who feel like they have friends at work are more productive, (yes, Dr. Schaller, I’ve been paying attention so far), and getting past an introduction is often the must difficult hurdle.

Going forward, I offer the advice to everyone that now is the time to put faces with names and lay the groundwork for a great semester. Taking a minute or two after class to shake a professor’s hand or have a quick conversation with the president of the organization you’re considering will pay dividends in the future, and as I’m experiencing with the Career Center, make you feel right at home.

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