No Rubrics in the Real World

After a long week of healing from my stressful trips to the hospitals here in Dublin, I finally got out to experience a nice weekend trip to Edinburgh. My friend Valerie and I embarked on an early morning trip to the Dublin airport to get to Edinburgh at around 8 am. We had the whole day in Edinburgh, exploring its beautiful city center, grass market, and amazing architecture. In our two days in the city, we ate tons of good food, explored the spooky dungeon tour, navigated the National Museum of Scotland, made our own chocolate, learned about Harry Potter’s inspiration, and experienced true Scottish pub culture. While the weekend was amazing, the trip back home was nothing but stressful and filled with the unexpected. Our already late-night flight at 11 pm was delayed until 1 am. Thus, we missed our AirCoach in Dublin we had prescheduled. After a sleep-filled flight home, it took us another two hours after landing in Ireland to navigate the bus system back to University College Dublin. For a while, our night was very unclear in terms of how we would get back home in time, but luckily my work week prior to the trip had been filled with uncertainty, allowing myself to remain calm and collected in the face of a rather stressful night of travel. 

For as long as I can remember, I am a person who thrives on a rubric. I like knowing what is expected of me from my teachers, supervisors, etc. so that I can ensure that my work is completed to the best of my ability. So, in the face of uncertainty/ambiguity, I can get rather uneasy and often overanalyze and stress myself out. I guess that is the people pleaser in me. However, it turns out my internship has had a lot more independence than I was expecting. While I am located on campus every day of the work week out in the field around UCD’s campus, my colleagues work from home most days of the week. Thus, while I am out and about on campus upgrading software on university PCs, I am left to my own devices to work out my daily schedule of relevant tasks, but also, I am not receiving immediate feedback or instruction from my coworkers like I would if they were in-person. 

This became very difficult the week prior to my Edinburgh trip due to many network issues on UCD’s campus preventing us from progressing in the campus-wide software upgrade as we would like. Not only did I miss two days due to my hospitalization which made me very anxious as it was unclear how detrimental my absence would be to the progress of our initiative, but also, a new firewall set up by the IT Networks team had been making it difficult for our PCs we were upgrading to connect to Microsoft’s servers so that they could be found in Microsoft Intune and Azure to be monitored and managed locally and remotely. While my colleagues were very understanding and helpful in relaying to me what I had missed in my sick days, coming back to work Wednesday was a challenge due to a lot of roadblocks, leading to a lot of me waiting around, which made me anxious, as if I was not doing my job. However, a lot of the waiting was due to communication between our team and the networks team, and an inability to progress and work on new computers until the others had been sorted out. In other words, out of my control. However, just because it was out of my control does not mean it did not stress me out.

Despite a lot of uncertainty in the past work week, I have found that communication with my coworkers has been the key to my success. While my team except for myself is remote most days of the week, we have a Google Chat groupchat which we utilize to quickly and efficiently communicate with each other. I have found that it is important to be honest and not be afraid to ask my coworkers for clarification or instruction when I am confused or encountering errors I had not seen or been prepared for before. This way I can complete my work as desired without the need for myself to be walked through every minute of my day. This independence has honestly been freeing and has helped me realize my own competence within my field of IT.