Although I’ve worked in an office setting before, this is the first time I’ve had a full-time desk job. Coming in, I was nervous that it would live up to the stereotypes of a 9-5 government desk job: dull, monotonous, and scripted. Thankfully, the job has been vastly different. Even though I’ve only met a small portion of CRIO so far (Department of Civil Rights, Inclusion, and Opportunity), I feel like I’ve been exposed to new backgrounds and work styles.
The employees at CRIO are extremely diverse in terms of the experiences that have shaped their lives. Because of this large body of employees, I’ve met interns from around the world, graduate degree candidates wrapping up their research, parents of children my age, people who’ve come out of retirement, and everything in between. After being constantly surrounded by people my age at UMich with backgrounds relatively similar to mine, I’ve found this to be a nice change of pace. Usually, the only time I would speak to people so vastly different from me would be in an interview or some other formal-esque meeting. Now, I’ve learned to casually grab lunch with coworkers double my age.
Moreover, I’ve gotten to speak with so many people both in CRIO and outside in a professional capacity that I’ve been exposed to a variety of work styles. Though I’m working in a municipal government job, I’ve collaborated with state policymakers, federal officials, business owners, non-profit workers, and professors. In just a few weeks, I feel like I’ve essentially observed a wide array of careers, providing me with a better understanding of what I want to pursue, and what work cultures I want to seek out.