Thursday, August 16, 2007

Finishing Up

Well, it's really almost over. A week from tomorrow is my last day here, and I'll actually be sad to go. It seems like with temporary situations they end just as you are growing comfortable. My first few weeks here were filled with such anxiety, such upheaval that I never thought I'd get through it. The culture was so different but now I'm a part of it. And yes, to answer your question (and my manager's) I will be submitting my application for employment when the time comes. It remains to be seen whether I will be hired, to which department or even if I would accept. But I would be an idiot not to at least apply.

For three months I felt like I didn't really fit in and that I was in way over my head. Then last week, my manager's manager (a very important lady) asked if I was planning to apply after I graduate. My mentor (who I have a difficult time getting a read on) went a step further and asked if I was going to apply to our group. I was surprised at this development. But I will likely take the diplomatic approach of applying through HR to see what's available.

Yesterday, we had our quarterly departmental meeting where I got an award for teamwork. My manager read a short speech how I started out knowing nothing about disk drives and am now regularly contributing to the group's progress. I got a fake Oscar with Teamwork on it, but more importantly I will be receiving a monetary award in my next paycheck. I was very touched and again surprised. Yay me.

It is possible that I have misread the attitude towards me and my work. One thing (and maybe the most important thing) I have learned this summer is not to measure a private company with an academic yardstick. No, they are not there to coddle me or make sure I have the best experiences possible. This is a business and I was hired to do a specific job. I did that job to the best of my ability and it seems like it was good enough to gain a little recognition. Not all my bosses are going to be like my advisor, Dr. Hari. In fact none of them probably will be. The sooner I learn that the better.

Today was Intern Day, and I had to present my main results from this summer in front of the other interns and all the managers. I was pretty nervous about it, and the subject matter was still new enough so that I felt a little uneasy teaching it to others. Even though it wasn't my best presentation, I think I still have many of the more socially challenged physicists beat. For "graduating" from the intern program, I was then given a 6GB pocket hard drive. I'm cleaning up this week.

The best part though was that my manager and mentor were invited to all the Intern Day activities including free lunch and cake. Yesterday when I handed the agenda to my mentor, he read it out loud.

"8:30 to 8:45- mingle. Mingle? I don't think so." Typical physicist.


Jackie said...

Natalie, I was wondering if you could e-mail me? I am getting a list together of people that I would like to send birth announcements to, and I would love to send one to you, but in order to do that I need your address. However, if you think that is weird and stalkerish of me then don't feel obligated to e-mail me, I totally understand.

ps. congrats on the good work! and that is too funny about your mentor!!

magnetbabe said...

I'd love a birth announcement! I'm totally loving the pictures of your new addition. And I think we're way past the stalkerish stage. But I say that knowing I'll be changing addresses in less than a year...

e.b. said...

You really did clean up! That is so amazing that you were able to finish on such a high note, especially given the rocky start. I am sure it is so hard to transition from an educational enviroment (especially having been in one for so many years) to a real life work place. But now you know a little bit of what to expect in the future.

Gram said...

Yea Natalie!!!

Beth said...

I agree with the others. Kudos to you. I'm sure you would be a great addition to anywhere you were. You seem very hard working and intelligent to me.

dr sardonicus said...

Time to come out of the shadows myself. Sounds like ya done good!

Thanks for stopping by Pole Hill.

fermicat said...

A happy ending! Hooray!

I like how things have worked out for you. You work hard and deserve some recognition for it. Can't wait to hear about your homecoming to Dean and all those kitties.

magnetbabe said...

Thanks, everyone. I know I had a rocky start. I decided that the only thing to do was make the best of it, especially since this was such a good opportunity. I was hopeful that even if the first impression I left wasn't memorable, the final impression could be favorable and that could mean something. As fermi said, right now I'm just looking ahead to spending NEXT weekend with my Florida family.