Site Loader

….Tell me what?????

Before I get into the nitty gritty of this post I’d just like to say two things:

  1. Guys I have been in Hamburg for 6 full months and two weeks! (Everybody blow your trumpet!! Pa na na na na na). 2015 let’ssss go!
  2. AND also let me take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New year, full of good health and I pray that God continues showering you down with blessings!!

Now that that’s done…. into the nitty gritty!!!!!!!

Well this post is to tell you what previous interns may/may have not told you. Because at open days/career fairs, they always seem to forget to mention the dullest and slowest part of their placement – THE BEGINNING. So because of this you start work with the highest expectations on your first day or month, Lord knows I did. I had expectations of walking into work on the first day with an atmosphere like:


“BAMMMM LET’S GET TO WORK PEOPLE!!!! *claps hands rapidly*” “Oi you, what’s the update on Americas region?!” (As you can probably tell, I watch a lot of movies)  

My expectations were so high it was ridiculous! I was expecting to have so much work handed over to me and so much responsibility (Of course not on my first day, but my first month). And still this was not the case.

Now I am not going to sugar coat anything for you. Your 1st day, week, or even months of placement MAY be the most boringest/slowest period of your lives (I know boringest isn’t a word – but nothing is impossible)  – be patient.  (DISCLAIMER: this may not be the case for everyone!)

The beginning will always be a bit slow/boring simply because you are new to the company – you can’t exactly just jump straight into the work can you? What do you know? (Nada) You don’t know the day to day processes, you know your role by paper – but you don’t know it physically or haven’t applied it.

Below are a few tips/hints/advice on how to tackle this so-called BEGINNING and how to make your “slow” days a bit more useful and of course “faster”



1. Boredom

Do not get frustrated about being bored or not having a lot to do – this will happen.

My 1st two months went by, and there were still days that were just SO DEADD, absolutely nothing to do. But even the days I had things to do – I still didn’t understand what I was doing, how the process went, why certain formulas were being used. I remember calling my friend after work complaining and of course she gave me tough loving as per usual: “Sarah, this is how it is going to be in the first couple months, you don’t know anything properly, it will still take a while to understand so stop complaining. Occupy yourself when there is nothing to do”

2.  Take initiative


OCCUPY YOURSELF. I was complaining that I didn’t fully understand the process or why certain things were being done – it was either I continued complaining or I sucked it up, used my initiative and TRY to understand what I needed to be doing.

So when there was nothing to do I would read my HR Controlling Process Guide and practice the process with data from the previous month. As I practiced and read the guide, I was learning and I understood why I was doing certain things in the process, I understood the formulas in our data sheet and the HR definitions etc then I’d show my manager to see if I did it right.

I WAS ACTUALLY STARTING TO UNDERSTAND MY JOB PROPERLY, AND WHAT I ACTUALLY DO!!!(It took at least 3 months for me to get to this stage – so again don’t stress/worry)

My supervisor saw my eagerness to learn and how quickly I learnt when I put my mind to it, so that’s when responsibility kicked in for me. She knew I knew what I was doing, so she started giving me more and more tasks to handle on my own etc. I was learning new things every day. I was coming into the office every morning with something to do, compared to the 1st two months where I’d come in and I’ll have to wait for my manager to delegate a task to me or just occupy myself.

3. Training

Not all companies have a structured induction day or training program or welcome receptions for new interns — this isn’t a problem, not all companies will do things the same no matter how big or small.

Now, I didn’t have a week of training, my company only offers on-the-job training and now that I have been here 6 months I totally see the benefits of this because I am still currently learning new things every day.  There’s only so much you can learn in a training centre for my role.

4. Ask questions!


“Is there anything I could help you with or you’d like me to do?” If you see your manager/supervisor doing something and you know they’re not in a rush to complete it, you could ask “Is it okay if I look at what you’re doing and maybe write down a few of the steps?”

Lol of course don’t make a script and rehearse these questions. But if you sit back waiting for something to happen, nothing will. You need to be proactive, by making the most of your time.

  Now to end with a cliché:

Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

It took me at least 3 – 3 1/2 months to FULLY get to grips with things, I had to learn to walk before I could run!

Post Author: Sarah T. AK

Sarah Temi Akinde: 20 years young. Business and Politics Undergraduate. Interning for Euler Hermes in Hamburg, as a Group HR Controller.​