Time management is always one of the most important skills in the workplace. As an organized person who always makes plans for myself, I thought having an internship would not have many differences from having classes at Pitt. However, after having the internship for one week, I realized that time management during working was much more difficult.
I used to think that it was pretty easy for me to finish everything on time. When I learned at Pitt, I also had some difficult courses that were a little bit overwhelming. However, start working on the project earlier always helped me overcome the challenge. Therefore, I never expected the challenge of time management during the internship. Even though I understood that venture capital is a brand new industry for me, and I had learned nothing about it in class, I was confident about myself.
The working schedule in San Francisco is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., a normal shift with eight hours. However, the crowded transportation system is very time-consuming. Since the fees of taking Uber or Lyft are relatively high, I choose the subway or the bus to go to the office. Even though I plan carefully, the subway may delay for ten or even twenty minutes. This delay will interrupt my whole schedule. Thus, due to the unorganized public transportation, time management becomes more difficult. Besides this factor, multitasking is also a challenge for me. During my internship, my supervisor assigned me several tasks at the same time, and he did not give me a very clear instruction or deadline as my previous professors. Therefore, it is difficult to figure out which task is more crucial and allocate limited time to every task.
To manage time more efficiently and complete tasks with higher quality, I tried many ways. I tried to communicate with my colleagues and supervisor more frequently to learn more things from them. Listening to their experiences and advice, I learned how to increase my efficiency. As working for a venture capital fund, I have to learn a bunch of new knowledge in this industry. Therefore, I was required to research more than fifty competitors and complete a spreadsheet with details within three days. In the meanwhile, I needed to read many articles to learn the lastest news. When I was required to finish multi-tasks at the same time, I felt overwhelmed. What made things even worse, I forgot things frequently because I could not concentrate. To solve this problem, I started to write down every task on my sticky notes to prevent myself from forgetting any task. I also tried to ask more questions to my supervisor to make sure that I understand every requirement so that I would finish jobs with high quality in time.
After work, even though employees are not required to work overtime, I still feel pain because I cannot ignore the things to be done. Therefore, I could only use extra time and work in the apartment. In this way, I can reduce my pressure for the following weekday. However, to maintain the working efficiency, I also need enough sleep and rest time. Therefore, I changed my habits, and I started to go to bed early. Having quick meals has already become my routine, and I tried my best to squeeze more time. Furthermore, during the weekend, when all other interns went out to explore the city, I still stayed at the apartment to screen articles and did research.
Besides improving my efficiency and spending more time working, figuring out how to prioritize tasks is also crucial. Thus, communication plays an essential role. By communicating with others and asking questions that I do not understand, I was more clear about what I should have done first. By putting many tasks in the right order, I could cooperate better with others and the whole team. Therefore, I could keep up with other teammates and finish my part on time.
Even though the first week was pretty busy for me, and I am not sure when I can truly manage and allocate my time effectively and efficiently, I still appreciate this opportunity. In San Francisco, the great sunshine and the breeze always make me relaxed on my way home. Even though I had to sacrifice most of my spare time and give up chances of hanging out with friends, I fill passionate and fulfilled. Today is the first day of the second week, and I look forward to making some progress this week.