When you watch Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther, you’re enjoying the finished product that you see on your screen.
Every stunt is perfect and each line is delivered flawlessly. It’s not until the blooper reel comes out that you finally realize how many camera angles and line mishaps it took to achieve perfection.
Our first week as interns were exactly like that, the blooper reel.
We were excited to post our photos on Instagram and Snapchat, but conveniently left out the silly mistakes or awkward situations we may have found ourselves faced with. I interviewed a few of my fellow The Washington Center interns, and hope you will laugh as hard as we did as we talked about our mishaps and blunders during our first week in D.C.
Name: Monica Pan
School: Austin Peay State University
Internship: Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation
Everyone makes newbie mistakes during their first week in D.C. What was yours?
My brother texted me, and I took a second to read the message. I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that the Metro was about to start moving, and I accidentally fell backward into the arms of a tall, blonde, intellectual boy who was reading a book. I was too embarrassed to turn around and see his reaction after he caught me, so I just kept looking forward until I could run off the Metro.
What advice would you give interns who are new to the city?
City life is very fast paced, so always be aware of your surroundings. Hold onto the Metro support bars no matter how germy they can be. I also recommend arriving at your Metro before the weekday morning rush, so you can get a seat and not have to worry about falling into anyone!
Name: Lauren Criss-Carboy
School: University of Alaska Anchorage
Internship: Search for Common Ground
What’s one lesson you learned the hard way during your first week in the nation’s capital?
My first day on the job I had to go to CVS and buy flip flops on my lunch break because that morning I decided to walk to work in my “comfy” flats and got quite a few blisters. I also tripped on the Metro escalators multiple times and crushed the end of my favorite sandals a few days later. My takeaway from all of this is to commute in tennis shoes (always)!
What advice should interns keep in mind during their first week?
On a totally non-shoe-related note, I’d encourage interns to schedule times to sit down and meet with the people in their department at their internship site. My supervisor encouraged me to do this and it definitely helped me break the ice with my colleagues and develop a greater understanding of how the department operates as a whole. I work in Human Resources and there are many specialties in this department. Getting to learn about the different types of jobs that each person has can definitely help me in the future. I now feel like I understand more aspects of HR because of my chats with my colleagues.
Name: Stephanie Macrinos
School: University of Mount Union
Internship: Naval History and Heritage Command
Everyone has awkward moments when they are getting used to their internship. Tell us about one of yours!
The whole Naval Base is a maze, including the building I work in. I spent most of the first week roaming around aimlessly and at the end of my first day, I had trouble finding the main gate to leave. The only people in my immediate area to ask were Naval officers, and they were pretty intimidating. I finally got up the courage to ask one of them, and to my surprise, he was very friendly and helpful! I was able to find the main gate without delaying my departure too much.
What advice would you give future interns to keep in mind during their first week of work?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! No one expects you to know the answer to everything during your first week. Being lost and confused is not that big of a deal and (most of the time) you’ll find that people are happy to help!