To any other person, June 15th would just be a Monday. For me, it was the start of a new beginning.
I remember the first thing I saw was my calendar reminder. Even the plain reminder brought me a mix of nervousness and excitement. By the time I made it to my car, I had what seemed like a million thoughts floating in my mind. I wondered what the other interns would be like and what projects I would be working on during the summer. Very soon, I would discover the answers to my never-ending questions.
My first steps into the HQ lobby felt surreal. For months I had anticipated this moment. One by one, new faces would appear to form the intern group. We all exchanged the same nervous glances and introductions. Each of us had to navigate the awkwardness of a mask hiding half of our faces. I stood by the elevator, absorbing my new surroundings. As my feet slowly shuffled out of the elevator, I immediately noticed the large and open office space and I was suddenly greeted by the bright, natural light from the surrounding windows.
The other interns and I were led into a spacious conference room. Ten desks were arranged in the room, all evenly spaced in respect of the social distancing policies. As I sat down at my desk, I glanced at the orientation agenda. When I saw there was a second page, I knew it was going to be a busy day. Even with the busyness of the day, I remained excited to learn more about Indium Corporation.
Being honest, before I watched the on-boarding videos, my knowledge about Indium Corporation was limited. I didn’t understand the significance of the company. A video I remembered discussed the history of the company. I thought it was so interesting that a company that I would drive by every day had participated in experiments for organizations like NASA. Some of the videos also made me laugh. The acting in the safety videos was definitely memorable.
Throughout the day, there were plenty of speakers. Sometimes I had no idea what they were talking about. I haven’t worked in a lab since high school, but it was interesting to see the different environments where the other interns would be working. When the other interns introduced themselves, I noticed a similar pattern: many of them are involved in technical programs like engineering. As I would get to know them better, I was amazed at how they were able to freely converse about concepts that I had just heard about that day. When they talked about their assignments, I could see the excitement in their eyes...that their research, experiments, and collaborating could lead to new possibilities for the company.
One of my favorite parts of the day was when we had lunch with our supervisors. My supervisors, Angela and Jingya, made me feel very comfortable and valued as a team member. I enjoyed getting to know them and sharing my curiosity with them. I know, when some people think of a supervisor, they think of an intimidating authority figure. That hasn’t been my experience; my supervisors have been great supporters. They even welcomed me to one of the best places in HQ, my cubical. The four dividers around my desk would become my new home. My eyes were immediately drawn to a message on my whiteboard from the Marcom team. I appreciated all the personal touches that made this new place feel more familiar.
Before I knew it, orientation had come to a close. The day felt strangely familiar. It reminded me of the syllabus day for a new class. Even though you're given an overview, there are many details spoken to you. My brain remained energized by all the new information I had learned that day. When I walked out of lobby doors, I left with a sense of relief that the day had gone so well.
On my drive back home, I spent some time reflecting on the day. Despite the packed schedule, I felt an overwhelming amount of gratitude. The unexpected devastation from the pandemic has left many businesses hurting. To survive, many companies had to cancel their internship experiences. I’m grateful Indium Corporation chose to continue even though it would have been more convenient if they chose to cancel the program. For Indium Corporation, it doesn’t stop at their internships; they are continuing to make choices to support others through their COVID-19 responses. To me, Indium Corporation’s determination through this difficult time is admirable. As I finally made it to my bed that day, I was able to rest knowing that Indium Corporation is a place where I want to be.
Until next time,