As our program comes to a close, I found myself reflecting mostly about my work environment. Although it is a DukeEngage program, I spend 40 hours a week at an office with only one other member of the cohort with me. As my first true “9 to 5” in an office (I’m not counting being a lifeguard or lab assistant), I truly understood the grind of an 8-hour workday. As someone who is naturally fidgety, restless, and hyper, I found the idea of sitting in the same place for an entire day appalling. Fortunately, the office I work at has a more relaxed atmosphere in which I can move around during the day. However, I still find myself feeling cooped up and anxious by the end of the day, just itching to be somewhere else but the office.
My work is fulfilling and my colleagues are awesome, but I cannot fathom how people can function day in, day out on such a schedule. These past eight weeks have only reinforced my inkling that I am ill-suited for a traditional office job. If I can barely stand a relaxed office environment, I would go mad in a cubicle. Although this tidbit of knowledge was not my reason for participating in the program, it is a valuable piece to consider when applying for future jobs and internships. Additionally, this summer confirmed my desire to work in the field of applied engineering, rather than solely be a “paper-pusher”, for lack of a better term.
Overall, I have had a summer of growth, both personally and professionally. The last week stands to be a bittersweet moment for myself as we wrap up our project and have the last couple weeks free before heading back to Duke.