For this blog post we have invited “that intern”, Eujin, and Cait to give us their thoughts from 10 days at The Intern Challenge (TIC) last week.  Over a cup of coffee (or tea for Cait) and through some office video chat, we recapped, reminisced, and ROLF’ed about the past 2 weeks.  Below is a transcript of some of their answers.

How are you guys feeling? Have you recovered?

Cait: It feels great to back!  I had to go vegan to detox after the past 10 days, but it was all worth it.  I am finally feeling 100%, and it’s great to dive into the client work we’ve been only hearing about until now.  I still have a fair amount of uncertainty, but a major point the facilitators wanted us to learn was about embracing uncertainty.  You won’t know everything in consulting and you have to be prepared to be flexible at almost all times.

Eujin: I miss it all.  I miss the sun, the people, the food, and my table.  You spend so much time with your table group that they start to feel like family.  I tried eating Papa John’s at night by myself to curb the withdrawal but pizza by yourself is definitely sadder than eating pizza with your friends.  Luckily there are plenty of us in Chicago to keep the momentum going.  I can second Cait’s comment that it’s good to be back.

Do you feel more prepared to take on the rest of the internship?  Is there anything you’re still worried about?

E: There’s always plenty to worry about.  I feel like I messed up at so many aspects during TIC, but it was a learning experience.  Luckily, we heard from a variety of executives throughout the week, and learning to fail and recovering from those failures was a big part of their message.  I can only figure that the more failures I have, the more I’ve learned.  As Cait also mentioned, there’s still a fair amount of uncertainty since so much depends on your project.  Regardless of the uncertainty, we’ll get through it!

C: I naturally worry about everything, but I definitely feel more prepared.  I never knew there could be so many smaller soft skills that are key to operating in the consulting environment!  I feel nervous to even write an email to my Senior Consultant.  Luckily my Peer Advisor has been incredibly helpful; she even lets me send her drafts to review before officially sending anything.  My table facilitator was also awesome, and we were able to get all our questions answered.  I know I will have a million more before the internship ends, but I haven’t been too afraid to reach out… most of the time.

What were your personal highlights from TIC?

C: One of my personal highlights was the ability to meet a lot of the major executives at Protiviti.  At first, I felt like I was talking to a professor or a friend’s parent that you’re kind of scared of, but once you start talking to them, it isn’t difficult to maintain the conversation.  They were pretty down to earth, and understood where we were coming from.  After the meal-packing event on one of the nights, game 6 of the Blackhawks game was on at the hotel bar, and a bunch of interns were watching it there.  Joe Tarantino joined us to chat and catch the rest of the game.

E: The ‘Tiv awards were especially fun.  I didn’t win anything, but there were some fantastic people who did.  On the bus ride back, I learned the game, Odds, from some friends in the North Central region.  With a 2 in 10 chance that I would switch shoes with a female intern, I lost that bet hard.  I then got to learn I can’t walk in too-small heels without potentially breaking something.

What would be one piece of advice for future interns?

C: Try to meet as many people as possible, including other interns, facilitators, recruiters, and the executive team.  The table teams were made up of people from all across the country, so it was interesting to work in that type of environment.  There’s a lot of great people at TIC, and it can be easy to fall into your table or office group.  I didn’t meet anyone I’d be unhappy to see again in the future! TIC Recap - 2015-06-22

E: I have plenty!  Don’t bring only Disney T-shirts; don’t invite executives to do shots; don’t drink all those shots because they don’t want them; don’t use your adviser as your relationship therapist; don’t be late.  Besides all that, have an amazing time!

Thank you both and we hope all our interns are off to a great start this summer.  It was a busy yet wonderful time being able to meet and catch up with you all.  We cannot wait to say that again as we look forward to the TICs of the future!

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