This weekend I went for ‘afternoon tea’ at Jesmond Dene House with my sister, I bought it as a birthday present for her back in March but this is the first chance we’ve had to go.
It got me thinking that my development as an Intern can be compared to the ever-so-popular afternoon tea. Now, this might sound odd but bear with me…. each part of the afternoon tea is like a stage in my development here, and I would imagine that of interns like myself in companies across the country. Let me explain:
1. The sandwiches
The sandwiches form the base of the afternoon tea right on the bottom tier of the stand. These are the essential ‘foundations’ which no afternoon tea would be complete without. They can therefore be compared to the first stages of my internship here. The sandwiches are those key, essential skills and knowledge acquired in the first few weeks of my time as an intern. Working in a new office, this knowledge included even the most basic of things, from getting to know everyone in the office to how to work the printer! This stage also included learning the everyday tasks involved in the role, even if at this stage it was under supervision. In a way, although these are the most basic skills, they can be the most difficult to build up. Starting from scratch is never easy, it is important not to get frustrated at this stage but to have patience. It may take longer than you expect but, fear not, soon you will have yourself a lovely little plate of finger sandwiches!
2. The scones
Once I had a full plate of sandwiches I was able to move onto the middle layer, the scones. The scones represent the second stage of my development in my three tier model. Once the fundamental skills and knowledge were in place I was able to build on them to create a more in- depth, working knowledge of the role. For me, this included being able to work independently on my everyday tasks, as well as taking on greater responsibility. At this stage I felt comfortable with the range of tasks that I carry out, and was able to carry these out efficiently and effectively.
3. The cakes!
I would consider myself to now be on this top tier of the afternoon tea… the cakes! These are the ‘fancy’ parts, if you like. Being at this stage has allowed me to be more creative, like the delicate and varied nature of the plate of cakes. Whereas the previous two plates are more or less the same wherever you take afternoon tea, the cakes are always different. This is the stage which has allowed me to go beyond the fundamentals; personalising the role by bringing in my own ideas and making my own changes. Just as the cakes are my favourite part of the afternoon tea, this is the stage of my internship which I have enjoyed the most. Although this plate is far from full just yet, over the next couple of months I hope to fill this plate with lots of sweet goodies and complete my full, three tier afternoon tea!