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The Graduate

I Got me a job!

Jacqueline Quillen

(Sept, 2010) Reporting live from Philadelphia, Pa. this is Jackie Quillen, Marketing Intern at a law firm. Okay, so itís an internship, but it is a paid, part-time internship, so yes, I got me a job!

Three days a week I take the train to the city of brotherly love and cheese-steaks, and work my 9-5 job at a desk with my name on it. Everything I did on my first day seemed to scream, 'Iím new' The train station is right next to my high school. On my way to the train station in the morning I went to turn right at the intersection towards my high school out of habit when I should have continued straight to go towards the train station. I ended up cutting off the car behind me by quickly veering out of the right turning lane. Iím sure that did not make him too happy on his early morning commute.

Once I got to the train I was happy to see a familiar face, a Mount face from the class of 2008. She is a regular on the train and even has a monthly pass. At the same time all the Ďregularsí take out their train passes or tickets to show the conductor. Being new, I had to buy my ticket on the train and slowing down the morning routine.

When the train nears its city stations people stand up and wait in the aisle for their stop. Once the train leaves the stop before mine everyone getting off at my stop gets up from their seat to wait. I tried to follow their lead to avoid looking like a newbie. Once the train arrived into the station I followed the crowd of people off the train, through the station, and up the steps to the city streets. I stopped, glanced up and saw big William Penn standing tall on top of City Hall, and a beautiful reflection of the sun on the windows of a tall skyscraper. At the Mount I was used to seeing more natural beauty and open skies, but the city has its moments of beauty, too, just a different brand of beauty.

Walking from the station to work was no problem at all, but finding my way back to the station from work somehow tricked me. There are three different entrances to the underground train station, but during my first week I could never seem to find them on the first try, and ended up finding a different entrance each time. Now I have it down-pat and I look like the other working men and women in their business attire rushing from work to the station and vice versa.

At the office I spend almost the entire work -ay on the computer. That darn machine is so useful in our world, but sometimes I feel like saying, "No, my computer is incapable of performing that task so I must do it by hand." Unfortunately, that never happens.

At the office I have felt very comfortable from the beginning. It just so happens that I work with a Mountie also, from the class of 2009. I had no idea he worked there and he didnít know I applied for the job until I accepted the offer and the firm announced my arrival. Itís nice to have familiar faces in unfamiliar places. No matter how small the Mount is, it will follow me wherever I go.

At first my coworkers hesitated in assigning me multiple assignments and even gave me distant deadlines. A few weeks in and Iím receiving assignments more regularly with sooner deadlines, sometimes same-day or ASAP deadlines. I like this kind of challenge and want to be challenged more and more each day.

When I finish time-sensitive assignments I work on the longer-term projects Iíve been assigned. The most time-consuming project was to update each of the 15 officesí distribution lists of publications that the firm sends press releases to. Being a huge fan of to-do lists, I wrote a list of the offices and highlighted each one as I finished updating its distribution list. My list now shines bright of yellow highlighter.

The entire Marketing Department works in one office, which consists of one room with two "dog-bones" and a hallway with respective offices for directors and managers. The dog-bone is a group of five desks separated by thin walls, similar to cubical desks, only larger and better. These work stations are called dog-bones simply because it resembles a dog-bone.

Working in such close proximity to one another means almost every conversation can be heard throughout the office. I can usually put a name to a voice without turning around to see who is speaking. Surprisingly enough, people in the office call each other on their office phones instead of walking two feet to the other personís desk to talk face-to-face. Sure the phone is more convenient, but itís very confusing to hear the person next to me speaking and hear her voice a few milli-seconds delayed through the phone. Iím tempted to call the person sitting right next to me to see if she takes me seriously.

During my hour lunch break I make a point to venture outside to breathe in some fresh city air. It reeks of buses, cabs, and all the lovely city toxins. After a walk around the building I return to my dog-bone on the 12th floor and get back to work.

For a while my desk was empty except for a computer, phone, and pen holder. To make myself feel more important I made post-it notes of anything and everything remotely related to the work I do, so now my mini-walls are full of yellow post-its of all different sizes. Slowly but surely my co-workers have become more comfortable with utilizing my empty desk-space to stash whatever items cannot fit on their busy desks. It is things like this, and the placement of the office trashcan, that remind me I am the intern.

Everyone has small trashcans under their desks, but the big office trashcan stands tall right next to my desk, along with unwanted boxes. The location of the trashcan is actually very convenient for me since I do not have a personal trashcan under my desk and I donít have to get up to throw things away.

Printer-duty is another thing that reminds me I am the intern. On one particular Wednesday I was assigned to printer-duty, which involved me replenishing the paper supply in the printer whenever it indicated a lack of paper with a loud and obnoxious beep. I tried avoiding the horrid sound by renewing the stack of paper before it ran out. It would still beep. Paper jam(s). The machine seems smart because it tells you where the paper jam(s) are in the printer and how to access them. If it is really all that smart, why does it suck in a stack of 20 sheets of paper at once and then stop working because the paper is stuck in three different spots? Stupid printer. It really just wants attention.

I donít mind printer-duty or any other tasks I am assigned to because the truth is Iím happy to be working. I may just be the intern, but it still feels like I have the world at my fingertips.

Read other articles by Jacqueline Quillen