by Zoey

From Biking Cross-Country to the Corporate Office: A Tale of Two Summers

When comparing my days last summer to this summer, almost nothing about them are the same. Last summer I had the opportunity to bike across the country, and this summer I have an internship with a real estate development company in Des Moines.

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Though these are two totally different experiences, I’m beginning to notice similarities in the lessons I’m learning along the way.

Communication

While biking in small groups, communication was key to make sure everyone was safe on the road and nobody was falling behind. Learning to communicate with my teammates even when I was completely wiped out from a reckless uphill trek was essential to keeping our group on the same page. Now when I’m in the office, communication is as important as ever. I’m working with a team of interns at Hubbell Realty, and in order to maximize our work efficiency, we have to make sure we’re talking about who is doing which part of the work so nothing gets doubled up. Communication is a truly important skill to have no matter what job you are doing.

Motivation

It seems hard to compare motivating yourself to bike up a mountain to making it through the afternoon post-lunch in the office, but there truly are some similarities. Setting goals for yourself and creating things to look forward to once the hard work is done are great ways to motivate yourself through the long days.

Endurance

To go along with motivation, you have to build up the endurance to complete your work goals. Pushing yourself up that mountain or powering through a large mapping project require you to endure any struggles you are having and push to get the good work done. It will seem hard at times, but the work you complete will be rewarding.

Focus

When you’ve been staring at a computer screen all day or riding into the Oklahoma headwinds, it’s easy to lose focus on what your end goal is. It’s important to sit back and think about the significance of your work. Whether it’s staying alert on the road to ensure you’re biking safely or tracing carefully along the lines of an image to create a map for the company, making sure to stay focused on the task at hand ensures more success down the road.

So maybe you didn’t spend your last summer biking every day and maybe you’re not working at a development company this summer, but my message is this: Every life experience is a lesson, even if you aren’t intentionally trying to learn anything. Get out and explore your world whether that’s through a job or a road trip. You never know where your experiences will lead you, and the skills you pick up along the way will continuously benefit you.

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