Take 15 Steps South at the Internship

Take risks, find your passion.  With graduations happening across the country, this is the season of pithy advice giving.

I was thinking about this as I watched our new batch of interns complete a scavenger hunt last week.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone was given a life map with a set of instructions guaranteed to lead to happiness and career success?    Turn right at the AP English class, turn left at the college of your dreams, take 15 steps south at the internship.

I get asked for advice a lot, and I always struggle.  Like many others I know, I am still on a career journey.  And, I am not sure that I have figured things out.

But, these truths I do hold to be self-evident.

Get out of your comfort zone.

The times when I have felt most exhilarated at work is when I volunteered for a project or took on a task which I knew nothing about.   A little fear in the belly is a good thing.

In the words on Steve Jobs, “”Fall down, make a mess, break something occasionally. And remember that the story is never over.”

Make mistakes.

One of the things which I love about Informatica is that I am allowed the freedom to try new ideas.  Many of these ideas don’t work, but I find comfort in the fact that if something doesn’t work, I can try again.  Exploration is encouraged.

In the words of the great Winston Churchill, “

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”  This is the time to try new things.

Say yes to everything

This is related to the first point.  My best learning, my best friends…well you sense the theme here, came from experiences where I volunteered for projects or assignments.  I learnt more than I ever did during my “day job”, and I got immense satisfaction in mastering something I knew nothing about.

In the words of Dale Rogers, “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there”.

Whether you are starting your first job, or your first internship, don’t just sit there, raise your hand!

Our college hires work across several of our business functions Many of them use their technical skills to contribute to our world class data integration products, others flex their analytical and creative skills to dive deep, looking for new answers to old problems. Whichever team our new hires work for, they are on the first round of their career journey.  And, to highlight their unique experiences, and to showcase the lessons they learn while they are with us, we’re bringing you a special blog series, “Informatica Interns: 2015.

We hope you enjoy it!

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