At the ungodly hour of 5 am, my alarm went off. But instead of groggily hitting the snooze button, I excitedly turned off my alarm and threw my clothes on and ate breakfast. I packed my bag and used my GPS to get me to Allied Vision Technologies for my first day at work as a Marketing Assistant.
I had never worked in an office before nor have I had a co-op job, so this was very exciting. When I finally arrived to work, I was shown my desk, my laptop and my office chair. Did I mention I was very excited? I have never gotten a desk at work before! As the day progressed, I was introduced to a lot of new people. My supervisor took me around the office and introduced me to what felt like a million people. There are several departments at Allied Vision Technologies, and all these new faces overwhelmed me. But, this is very typical when starting a new job. There will be plenty of names introduced to you, and plenty of names you will forget, especially on your first day. I made sure to reintroduce myself later on, and really made an effort to learn people’s names. One tip to remember names is to use word association tricks. For instance, if you have a co-worker named Julia who wears glasses you might associate her with jewels in her glasses. Silly little things like that really help jog your memory!
There were also a lot of new concepts I was introduced to as well. Allied Vision Technologies is an industrial camera company, and my supervisor showed me a big brochure of the many different cameras they sell. The names and technicalities seemed overwhelming, and at the moment I wondered, “am I ever going to understand this stuff?”
That day, I went home quite overwhelmed and worried, and to top it all off, there was a major traffic jam, and it took me 2.5 hours to get home, when it only took me an hour to get there! I felt frustrated because of the traffic jam, my stress and headache, and because I had unrealistic expectations for my first day. I had hoped to get started on the job right away, but like any job you have to get through the typical paperwork and getting set up.
What a day. But folks, fear not! I’m now about halfway through my co-op at Allied Vision, and I love it. First of all, the crazy traffic seemed to be just for that one day (lucky me), I eventually learned everyone’s names, and I think I have a much better understanding of the company and their products as well as my job. The biggest thing that helped me settle into my role was when some consistency came into play. In the beginning, everything was brand new, and I had no reference points. Over time, I would be given more and more responsibilities, and some tasks I would have to do on a more regular basis. Having ownership over projects really gave me a sense of direction and responsibility. My supervisor made a point of asking me what I wanted to learn, and she asked me to do work based on what I expressed an interest in, which I really appreciated.
Honestly, the first day of any job is not going to be reflective of your job for the most part. I was so eager and so keen, I just wanted to jump right into my duties, but that is not possible! You need to learn a lot about the company first, how things run, and you just need to get used to it. It just takes a little bit of time before you find and become comfortable in your role.
The first days are normally the hardest for any job you start because you have to adapt to a new role, but if you stay patient and put an effort into learning new things, there is a good possibility that you will really enjoy yourself and your new challenges.
Beyond the Blog
Check out Natalie's other Co-op Blog Series with TFSCE.