Wait, you mean I’m not getting paid for this?

I’ve come to realize that in a busy office, the 8-hour workday doesn’t last nearly enough. Even though when the clock hits 5 and you are ready to go home you are still painfully aware how much is still needed to be done.

I am lucky enough that at my internship I am given a fair deal of responsibilities that entail multiple projects with various deadlines. Of course, this being only the second week my manager and coworkers still keep a careful watch over me and make sure I’ve got a safety net below me when I try out something new. That being said however, most times during the day I am sitting at my desk working on projects and making phone calls just as they all are. This independence and sense of responsibility has made this internship incredibly rewarding already and gives me a sense that I am truly able to make a difference, and optimistically an improvement, to this company in the short eight weeks I will be here.

On Mondays we have team meetings. Where from 10:00am to 11:00am we strategize for the week ahead and assign individual duties across the team. This is a time where we manage priorities of individual projects and develop timelines of when they will be completed. We discuss issues that have arisen on other projects and ask question to the manager and each other about the best way a project can be completed. During these meetings we also remind ourselves of the inevitability of future problems popping up and remind ourselves the necessity to stay flexible and be able to both finish the planned workload and respond the challenges that will pop up through the week.

The HR role that I am currently in sees me in constant communication with the 18 pharmacy branches that make up Stacks Pharmacy. Working out of the support office we use a variety of methods including phone, email, and WhatsApp to stay keep in contact with over 200 employees that make up the company. With all of these people to manage and account for it can take a good deal of planning and effort to make sure that everyone remains on the same page as we see our projects span to the branches that are located in many different counties across the whole of Ireland. It is easy for a project that seems simple to become much more complicated as you realize that when you multiply your work by 18 stores things get much more difficult.

Because I am given multiple tasks, I have the independence to decide what I am to do at any given time. Of course the deadline of projects is always the ultimate decider of my work schedule, given this flexibility I am able to switch between projects when I need to get my mind off of a particularly difficult aspect or deal with the lag time inherent when working with projects that have multiples stages of completion.

Another aspect of work prioritization comes from the realization that the real world is messy. There will be times that part of your project requires information or input from others who they themselves have busy work schedules. There will be times that the 3 hours you thought you had at the end of the day is actually going to be taken up by a new project that the managing director of the company came to your team with and said it had to be finished by the end of the day. Part of understanding my work schedule is understanding that I have to plan for the unplannable and be able adjust to the new responsibilities without falling behind on the old ones.

The schedule of a work week is very different to that of a class schedule. They both have their challenges and benefits and require different methods of time management and communication. But at the end of the day they both require work that needs to be done and deadlines that need to be met. I am confident that the skills I have already learned at Pitt will help me succeed in this new job, thrive in this new environment, and to live in this new country. ffffffff