Today was my first day at my first job in corporate America. Well, it was actually my second day, but the first day was entirely taken up by necessary, but not super exciting HR and on boarding related tasks. Today was the first time I actually did anything for real, and I have many feelings.
Let’s back up a bit. I’d better tell you what my job is before I talk about how I feel about it. I’m an intern in the Digital Technology Leadership Program at GE Transportation. To back up even further, GE Transportation is the branch of GE (funny how that works) which is responsible for locomotives, stationary engines, mining, drilling, and marine operations. Anyone who knows me knows how I’ve always loved methods of transportation, especially trains. I used to (and still can) stand for hours at the Museum of Science and Industry train exhibit and just watch all of the HO scale model trains go around their expansive track. I don’t know what it is about trains that I love so much, and it’s certainly changed since my friend Travis and I wrote our first picture book about trains in the first grade. I think at first, it was how powerful they are – they can carry thousands of tons of stuff across massive distances. Now, I have a deep appreciation for the engineering and physics behind their design and operation, as well as all of the logistics and information sciences that go into everything from rail yard design to fuel efficiency management, to route optimization. In any case, I love trains and always have.
Given all of that background, you might guess that I am simply overjoyed at being offered an opportunity to work with locomotives for an entire summer. You guessed correctly. Notice I mentioned that I’m on the digital side of things. If you know me, you know that in addition to trains, I love working with computer systems, code, data management, and other things CS related. Luckily for me, my job this summer lets me do just that – I get to work with computers, trains, and computers on trains. I’m beginning to believe that this internship was designed specifically for me. Additionally, I find myself strangely enjoying the less quantifiable parts of working. All of the people I’ve met so far have been really interesting and nice, and willing to put up with my excessive question asking. My assigned mentors are really supportive and helpful, and working with the team I’m a part of has motivated me to succeed even more than I thought it would. Last but certainly not least, all of the other interns in the program are amazingly talented, endlessly interesting, and often make me wonder how I got let into a program with such intelligent people. I know the combination of the things I’m doing, my passion for them, and the people around me will help me make this summer be a huge learning experience, and I’m really excited for it.
Before I wrap up, let me briefly get back into what I was talking about in the intro paragraph. I still feel a little bit like I’m playing dress-up in kindergarten. That’s not to say I feel like I don’t have anything to add to the team, I just feel starstruck and so happy that a real company was willing to give me a job and has the confidence that I can be a valuable team member. I’m super motivated to prove them all right, but I still feel just a bit out of place. I’m sure everyone reading this has had that exact same feeling – being super excited and pretty nervous along with it. As my sensei Brett L Wolf always used to say: “There’s nothing wrong with nerves. Nerves mean you understand the stakes. But there is something wrong with being scared. Scared people fail.” I’m embracing my nerves and, as the people at GE would say, I’m going to “leverage” my nerves and excitement to make this a productive summer.
I realize that this blog post is probably really really uninteresting for everyone except for me. Please bear with me as I learn how to use this platform to communicate in a way that hopefully some of you guys can at least tolerate.
As always, thanks for reading,