Alissa McCarthy is a human resources intern at Verizon’s Operations Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. She is about to begin her junior year at Cornell University, studying industrial and labor relations with a minor in business. Over the next few weeks, during her internship, she will share her day-to-day experiences, surprises and insights.
I had never participated in an internship program before so I was eager to start. I also had my worries: How many times will I get lost in the building? (Five so far.) What will my co-workers be like? (Pretty awesome from what I can tell.) Will I perform well? (We’ll see.) There was one other worry: How accessible is the coffee? Ever since high school, coffee has been a big part of my life and work ethic, making it a huge determinant for how my week would go.
Here’s how my first week went, and some lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Day One: Orientation
Start time: 7:30 a.m. No time for my usual two cups in the morning, so I compromised with half a mug. I arrive at Verizon for orientation -- and discover: FREE COFFEE AVAILABLE ALL DAY LONG. I enthusiastically participated in the Verizon Credo Map Challenge, an onboarding exercise to help acclimate new hires to Verizon, although I was paired with bright and (slightly) intimidating MBA students.
Day Two: First Impressions Matter
I made sure that I had time for two cups of coffee in the morning to stay focused through laptop training and avoid being mistaken for a zombie when meeting my supervisor. How did I know we’d get along? Because she is attentive, energetic and a coffee lover, too. After she saw my workspace k we went to the cafeteria for lunch. I felt a crash coming on so I made a beeline for the French vanilla coffee. As I walked over to the cashier, my tray tipped slightly and boom: French vanilla was all over the floor. Not only had I lost my much-needed coffee, but I may have damaged my chances of being the janitors’ best friend. After lunch, we had great advice from past interns, a motivating speech from Verizon Chief Marketing Officer Diego Scotti and coach Mike, the gym instructor, that kept us clapping all through the afternoon.
Day Three: New Beginnings
Two cups in the morning. First day at my desk. I stayed alert through the online training and filling out required items on VZWeb – our intranet for employee resources. French vanilla at lunch (highly recommended flavor). Walked cautiously through the cafeteria, my cup making it safely to the table. Later in the afternoon, my supervisor asks if I want to go for a coffee break. Of course ! We go to the Verizon Ventures startup fair to check out cool new apps that the tech whizzes have been working on, scoring free Rice Krispies Treats, and you guessed it: coffee.
Day Four: Surviving My First Conference Call
Two cups in the morning. A few meetings today and my first conference call, which is making me anxious. Meeting No. 1 goes smoothly. Afterward my fellow intern/officemate asks if I want anything from downstairs. A small coffee, please. I prepare for my first conference call, my notepad ready, waiting for the phone to ring. Waiting more. Any day now. Are they late in calling? Wait … I have to dial in? Frantically, I try to figure out how to do that when my officemate walks in, just in time to show me -- and with my coffee in hand. Day saved and made.
Day Five: Daily Grind in Review
Woke up extra early to grab a coffee on my way to the office. As I reflect on my first week, I realized that coffee got me through the week and taught me a few things along the way, from how to properly hold a cafeteria tray to the value of teamwork and having an officemate. Most importantly, I learned that Verizon is going to be an incredible place to work.