I’ve completed week one out of three of the internship so far.
It’s been a rollercoaster– but it’s getting more and more fun. Day one was just a lot of formal training in matters of the office, sort of like a primer on what resources we had at our disposal and who to ask if we needed help. Day two was where things got difficult– I was thrown into the deep end with my own desk and was almost immediately given tasks to work on. It was daunting at first. I supposed I should have expected it from the company that gave me the most difficult interviews to date, but the work required an incredible amount of competency and knowledge from day one. Competency and knowledge that I didn’t already have.
So I spent a lot of time familiarising myself with the area of law to begin with, and then getting things done. Nobody spoon fed me anything. I can’t say that I expected spoon feeding, but I guess I expected a bit of legal training that would allow me to take on the jobs more effectively.
The first day that I worked on significant tasks, I felt like I had been a flop– I had based some of my arguments for an advice on caselaw that had very recently been overturned, which lead to a hella lot of confusion about the matter. I felt like I wasn’t doing all that well. My immediate coworkers often work headphones and seldom spoke to me, probably because of language barrier issues. I felt quite isolated and alone, knowing that the work assigned to me was expected to be returned sooner than later.
That’s just really the beginning, and I suppose all beginnings are a bit rough. [DilligentB] asked me a couple of weeks ago if I was feeling anything particular about coming to HK, or finally getting clerkship equivalent work. At the time, my response was, nope. Nothing. It was just another plane, another job.
But at the same time, I told her that I knew that from past experiences, I’d be the person who would definitely get the jitters once I actually started at the new job– I’d be doubting myself, I’d not know who to ask and I’d not know how to do much. So as much as I can say that the first few days at this internship were pretty rough, it’s on par for the course– this is always me at a new job, and I suspect that this story largely retells itself for everyone in their own circumstances when they try something new.
Now that I’ve gotten a whole week of the work done, I feel quite confident. I’ve been knocking down tasks that I’d never tried before– things which a week ago were impossibly difficult, and simply scary, are now things that I can do.
I’ve gotten to know my co-workers a bit better too. Spending a bit of time with them at the Christmas Party, where I went in drag with the other interns (well, myself and another guy dressed up as Catwomen, while the three female interns dressed up as normal Catwomen), and helping out at a charity christmas event on Saturday (yesterday) gave me the chance to get a lot more comfortable with everyone.
I remember thinking, at the Christmas Part– it was observing a tightly knit tribe in it’s natural habitat. The party did have it’s share of lame events– like a magic show and some pretty terrible singing– but you can tell that if you’d been working there, they were all inside jokes that everyone actually really enjoyed. It had all the indications of a large family.
After the party I was a bit sad, to be honest– because after having such a great time in just my first week, the reality remains: very few of us will actually be offered training contracts at the end of all this. So all this might pass. While getting to know all these people has been a privilege, perhaps I’m thinking too deeply into how much I’m going to miss this place if I am not invited to come back to it.
It’s been nonstop. I finished exams less than two weeks ago, moved from the old apartment to the new one, and flew out here to HK to start interning. Maybe mentally I’m just trying to catch up with everything that’s been going on, and maybe I need to be more positive?