You’re new, in an unfamiliar place, and surrounded by even less familiar people. You’re excited to begin the next chapter of your life, but you’re slightly nervous you won’t fit in.
Starting off in a new company is a lot like starting your first day of school. You have an assigned seat at a vacant desk, yet you constantly find yourself looking for your place within the organization. And often, that awkward, misplaced feeling lasts a couple of weeks. But sometimes, if you’re lucky enough, you find your niche during your first few days.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I first began at Shift. All I knew was that my time here would expose me to many of my firsts: internship, time in Birmingham, office job, and real-world experience in the tech industry. I could tell from my interview that it seemed like a cool company to work for, but I had no idea how fortunate I was to be offered such an amazing opportunity. I came in thinking I would be fetching people coffees and doing all sorts of meaningless tasks, but I was completely shocked when I was assigned my first project. Expected to work independently on assignments that impacted the entire company, despite being at the bottom of the chain, made me feel valued. Being treated as an equal provided me with a truly enriching experience.
Joining the team four weeks after the internship program launched, I also worried I would have difficulty fitting in with the others who already had time to overcome that awkward phase. I quickly realized, however, that I wasn’t really at any disadvantages. Training with other new hires helped me with the transition, but it’s evident that everyone here is friendly and welcoming from the moment you walk in. The environment embodies a huge part of the company culture: fun. Spending countless of hours inside and outside the office at many company-wide social and philanthropic events, your coworkers begin to feel a lot like your family.
One thing I love most about Shift is it embraces an entrepreneurial spirit. Rapidly expanding in such a short amount of time, it continues to promote internal growth alongside the company’s growth as a whole. While everyone plays a different role and has unique responsibilities, movement within the company is very fluid. In fact, it’s encouraged, so you’re able to explore your curiosities of other departments.
My time at Shift will always be something I’ll look back on. Not only have I gained relevant hands-on experience, but I’ve also established relationships that will carry on long after my internship ends. I can confidently say that I’ve learned a lot here, but my biggest takeaway would be that the sky really is the limit.
Shift Digital is one-of-a-kind. It’s no wonder we’ve recently been named one of Metro Detroit’s Best and Brightest Company to Work For. So whether you’re an intern or a full-time hire, you’ll shift away a better person.
Amber Lam is a rising junior at the University of Michigan double majoring in International Studies and Economics. Currently working as the Distribution Coordinator of SHEI Magazine, the University of Michigan’s student-run fashion publication, Amber plans on moving out to NYC after college in pursuit of a career in corporate fashion. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, staying active, and attending music festivals.