What’s my biggest challenge so far?
(You mean, aside from coming up with something to write for the blog, right?)
Well, my biggest challenge in Bosnia so far has definitely been the work ethic. It’s a little bit…slow…for my taste. I am all for the five-hour workday. In fact, I think we in the United States would actually benefit from shortening our work days (not to mention our commutes) and having more time for family and friends. And I do appreciate slowing my life down. Year one of grad school was crazier than I expected, and I would like to return to the slower pace that characterized my life before Korbel. I love free time. But I just don’t like any down time in the work sphere. I really need to work while I’m at work. If I don’t feel productive, the time just drags. Combined with the Sarajevo heat, it’s brutal.
So I suppose this will be an internship for personal reflection more than anything else. The cognitive re-frame has already come into play (Thanks, Ann, Emily, and all you fabulous social workers out there!). Background reading is not “doing nothing.” It’s gaining knowledge and preparing for the future. I guess if AI is ok with that, I’m ok with that. Right now it’s a bit of a tough pill to swallow, but I can adjust. I can get something out of the internship. Or at least spin it so it seems like I have.
I’ve spoken with last year’s intern and she said she had similar issues. She actually gave me a couple good tips for handling this type of internship. First, you get to learn to work in a more self-motivated fashion. This helps you determine which subjects, or aspects of the subject, you like and want to work with. Enjoy the freedom while you have it. Second, working in a “dysfunctional” (please note, this is not my word…although I’m using it here because I’m not sure yet which adjective I would use to describe AI) environment gives you a heads up as to the basics of administration. Do you have goals? Are they obtainable? Via which steps? Third, you can learn as much about what you like about your internship as you can from what you don’t like. Both perspectives will give you valuable knowledge that you can take to your future pursuits. I must say I really appreciate her advice. It’s helped me to tweak my expectations so as to bring them in line with reality…which is probably good to do from time to time.
I predict the internship definitely to be my biggest challenge throughout this entire experience. That’s alright. That’ll just keep it interesting.