you're reading...

First Day Jitters

The first day at a new workplace is always nerve-wrecking. Sat alone at your desk everything around you is foreign. Everyone in the department is friendly, yet their expertise and experience mean that the lone intern is a nervous sponge. You wonder what you can do, can touch, and what is expected throughout the months. Plus it does not help that you had arrived on Saturday for an internship on Monday, and jetlag resulted in a sleepless night before.

It was the same when I started at The Learning Lab. Today when I head back for an office visit my former colleagues gladly tease me about my initial apprehension and reticence.

Of course there is only excitement if you enter a field you enjoy. I am, on the other hand, confused. I have no clue of what the future holds, no career aspirations, and no idea what to do (imagine the looks of consternation on my peers when I said “I am just here to try it out”). Unlike these go-getters I never saw myself in a bank. I just went with the flow. I stumbled into the business school. Took finance modules in Helsinki. Applied for the internship. And when you approach a job with such apprehension it will be awkward and tough.

The unexpected sit-down with the boss was quite something. When he shows trust and faith in you… That is really something. I think it was quite obvious that I was struggling to keep up with the financial jargon and acronyms when he gave me an overview of the bank, the department, and different financial services (also a painful reminder that an academic study of finance can count for little in the real world), so he slowed down and scribbled notes as I jotted stuff. He could have left me alone with administrative duties, yet he told me about the three month programme he had planned. “Whether you decide to join banking or not is not important”, he concluded. “Above all you must gain something, learn how the bank operates”.

It made me guilty. Silly Jin Yao, forever taking things for granted.

I cannot remember much about the final interview, except that I had to wake up at three in Helsinki to prepare for the 3.30 Skype interview (Singapore time 9.30). One day I will ask him why he chose me, despite never alluding to an interest in finance. Not now though.

With the uncertainty one gravitates towards the familiar. Once I stepped out of the office I typed furiously on the phone. I knocked off at 6.30 – an hour after the stipulated time on my contract – but I left ever so tentatively because the boss and half the department were still around. Only my coordinator knew of my arrangements, and she had already headed home.

Thank goodness for the public holiday tomorrow. A chance to ctrl-alt-del.

About guanyinmiao

A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting. Carlos Castaneda.


9 thoughts on “First Day Jitters

  1. You have a good boss. It was nice to meet you in Helsinki. I will continue to read your blog and I wish you happiness and love in your life.

    Posted by Christina Snellman | May 12, 2014, 11:24 pm


  1. Pingback: Graduating Into Uncertainty | guanyinmiao's musings - June 11, 2014

  2. Pingback: An Arrogant Reality Check? | guanyinmiao's musings - September 5, 2014

  3. Pingback: Years Of Conferences | guanyinmiao's musings - December 26, 2014

  4. Pingback: Internships A Remedy To Uncertainty | guanyinmiao's musings - May 18, 2015

  5. Pingback: e27: Venture Into The Upper Echelons | guanyinmiao's musings - July 3, 2015

  6. Pingback: Six Lessons I Learned From My Four Internships | guanyinmiao's musings - August 2, 2016

  7. Pingback: Your (A-Level) Results Are In. Now What? | guanyinmiao's musings - February 23, 2017

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • RT @yumcoconutmilk: It’s very arrogant but it does the job of making you stop and think bc you want to be smart, and not on the wrong side… 1 day ago
  • RT @Komaniecki_R: Whatever professional struggles you are facing, take solace in the fact that you will never have to write a twitter threa… 1 day ago
  • RT @tasha_en: The way every Gen Z marketing person in SG is using the exact same Canva templates for events, so I get super confused betwee… 1 day ago
  • RT @ZJAyres: One thing academia often does exceptionally well is convince exceptional people that they aren't exceptional because they are… 5 days ago
  • RT @Tilley101: This will be a lecture slide on how *not* to organise labour & build solidarity - nobody benefits from reinforcing hierarchi… 5 days ago
%d bloggers like this: