What I Learned as an Intern with SEP
2022 Summer Intern
As I begin my final week as a BizOps intern, I can’t help but look back on the last few months with a mixture of relief that I completed my work and did it well and immense sadness at the fact that I am leaving. Since SEP is my first internship, I arrived on the first day with all the jitters and expectations I could gather. It seems foolish now, knowing the friendly and supportive community of SEPeers that exists here.
For the next few minutes, I want to explain how I used my nerves to fuel the hard work and wonderful relationships that came from SEP. I gained a number of business and professional skills during the course of this busy summer, but there are three lessons that I will be sure to take with me in my future endeavors.
SEP is a place where I was able to be myself.
What I Learned as an Intern
Company Culture Matters
The first thing I learned as an intern is how important company culture truly is. SEP has spent its lifespan building and fostering an environment that celebrates creativity and productivity. I have watched how they prioritize their customers and employees above all else.
SEP has achieved this by having open areas to collaborate and connect with others, hosting company-wide events, and having channels for employees to discuss common interests. It only took a few weeks for me to be able to enter the building, say hello to SEPeers, and feel comfortable as I made my way to my desk.
This type of environment makes working so much more enjoyable.
You Are More Than Just an ‘Intern’
You are more than just an ‘intern.’ Although it seems corny, the title “intern” sometimes gives the impression that your contribution will be minimal. That couldn’t be further from the truth at SEP.
At SEP, I felt like a valuable member of my team and that my work contributed to their success. During meetings, I got the chance to present my work, add my own thoughts to my projects, and advance my skill set.
I had the opportunity to see my influence firsthand. For instance, my fellow biztern Reagan and I developed a flashcard game to help SEPeers in becoming familiar with the fresh people joining SEP. We organized company-wide events like the yearly Brats Bash, which left the employees both happy and stuffed. Lastly, I helped in creating a whole new look to the “Behind the Product” podcast.
How to Make Work Fun
Finally, I learned how to have fun at work. I anticipated a lot of serious conversations and nonstop work before starting at SEP. However, by working on projects with others, going to lunch, and going on minigolf adventures with my team, I learned how to make those days—and every day of my internship—more fun. SEP is a place where I was able to be myself and not be afraid that I wasn’t being professional enough.
Most importantly, I discovered that a good dad joke can go a long way in brightening up the office.
Advice to Bizterns
Love That Every Day is Different!
The best piece of advice I can give to aspiring Bizterns is to roll with the changes that occur throughout the course of the summer. As a Biztern, I worked on a variety of projects, including those involving data retrieval, graphic design, Coda organization, event planning, and so much more. The best part is knowing you won’t be doing the same thing every day!
Don’t Stay at Your Desk All Day
Second, I assure you that as the summer goes on and you grow to be comfortable at SEP, don’t just stay at your desk to work. This new forever home building has so many places to work and relax that make it possible to be efficient. My favorite place to sit and work is outside, on the couches under the extra large umbrellas. I love to watch the deer go by in the field of dreams and I always get my best work accomplished out there.
Be Friends with the Receptionist
My last piece of advice, and trust me on this one, is to make friends with the receptionist. It was so welcoming to walk in every morning and talk to Elizabeth, walk down and say hello when I needed a brain break, and pull pranks on each other as a way to make the day more fun. She was always willing to help me with events and scheduling and made the intern experience feel like a normal job that I was walking into every day.
While my summer at SEP has come to an end, your next adventure might just be starting! I encourage you to take what I learned as an intern and this advice with you wherever you are headed next.