Earlier this week, I identified my learning objectives and goals for this summer internship. After a few days of work with these objectives and goals in mind, I’ve identified potential road-blocks to my success.

  • Frustration

I’m used to straightforward code, in a language I am familiar with, written completely by me. I likely will not have all three of those qualities on any project I work on this summer. When I code my own projects, I’m sloppy. I use whatever Stack Overflow copypasta gets the result I want. If it’s too hard, skip it. Again, I’ve had to adopt a different philosophy this week.

I know HOW to write good code, I just usually CHOOSE not to. I’ve become frustrated with myself for spending hours on trying to figure something out or perform what seems to be a simple task. However, I’m discovering techniques to alleviate this. I’ve narrowed my scope.

Instead of telling myself “I need to create an SMS script in PHP to reply to STOP and HELP messages”. I break down the task on paper. I make a checkbox on Google Keep with the first tiny step. Once completed, I check the task and write the next one down. This keeps me feeling accomplished and on task without feeling too overburdened.

  • Distractions

Let’s face it. I’m on the computer for 8/hrs a day. On the clock. With Reddit just a click away. I have to be deliberate with my time, use my lunch break wisely, take water/coffee breaks, etc. Getting distracted with non-work related activities is not only unprofessional and a sure way to get noticed (in a bad way) by the boss, but it’s time that takes away from my learning and achieving my goals.

  • Asking Questions

This has always been a tough thing for me to do. Call it shyness or insecurity, but when I need to ask someone something about MY work, I feel as if I’m being a burden on them. I also feel that I will be judged for asking something that may be trivial. This is how I felt my first few days on the job. Luckily, I discovered quickly who to ask about what issues. Today I was initiated into the Punchmark team’s communication channels which helped make asking questions less intrusive and easier for me. The team has also been very receptive of my questions and have shown appreciation for my work.

This first week was a huge culture and behavior shock. I believe we are off to a good start for a productive, enriching, and successful summer experience.

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