The Business of Makeup

After spending most of my working life in the military, there was definitely some anxiety and excitement stepping in to my first job in the civilian world. To make it even more juxtaposed, I was going to be interning with a beauty company and the irony continued as my project was focused on a make-up related issue.

While any new position requires a learning curve, I was trying to mentally prepare myself for an industry I was not familiar with, products I certainly didn’t have a history interacting with, and a large company that I knew very little about. To do well, I needed to be comfortable asking co-workers for help or clarifying information. This was not an enjoyable experience, especially knowing my questions were not always insightful.  By and large my questions were not laughed at and most co-workers were helpful, because they remembered what it was like being a new employee.

Standing out and making a good impression tend to be the main objectives when interning for a company, assuming one can adroitly achieve this outcome.  One simple, yet surprisingly difficult way to accomplish this is conducting yourself as a professional. This goes far beyond clothing and appearance, that’s a given. It encompasses every interaction you have with coworkers, suppliers, consumers, clients etc. Maintain professionalism is difficult because it is tiring and interminable, but it is simple and starts with simply being considerate. Small things like greeting co-workers while walking through the office creates an aura of approachability.  Ultimately, I would just assume someone is watching me and try to conduct myself appropriately with that assumption. And quite often that would hold true, as I was working in a relatively open workspace you had to be prepared for anyone to walk by and observe how I was behaving. I wasn’t a robot but I also knew that maintaining composure even if I was tired went a long way to making myself approachable.  One of the individuals I met by keeping my head up sat in in on my final presentation. This made my final presentation less nerve wracking and I was able to make a good impression.

By keeping my head up, saying hi to people in the office, and approaching others to ask questions helped me establish a stronger network than merely walking through the office staring at my awesome shoes. Ultimately it was an enriching experience and I was fortunate to work with some excellent people.