learnt a lot in a rough environment

3.0
Position title
lab analyst
Work term type
Internship
What was your monthly salary (before taxes)?
2,501 to 3,000
How long was your work term?
8 months
Where did the internship/co-op take place?
calgary, Alberta
Work industry
Environmental
Faculty
Science

Work review

With reflection, was your first day well-structured and organized? 
Some issues
Did the on-the-job training allow you to be successful in your role?
Not really
Was your work challenging and engaging?
Challenging
The projects you worked on, did they give you valuable experience toward your career goals?
Skills for life
What did you like best about your internship/co-op? What type of work were you doing?

Doing mostly analytical chemistry, it was tough when there were hundreds of samples to deal with and it was common to see staff staying overtime to complete as much as possible; this showed that the staff really cared about the turnaround time and were responsible. It was the team members that initiated group events that pulled everyone together, creating an atmosphere that was warm and welcoming, causing everyone to know exactly what to do if someone was sick or off duty that day.

What did you like least about your internship/co-op?

It's a fast paced environment and so time management was very important, but the better you are at work, the more gets thrown onto your shoulders and it's one thing that most people hated.The supervisor was not helpful but most of the coworkers were patient and spent lots of time and effort to prepare new/junior staff for the massive amount of work that came in the summer.

Manager experience

Did your manager(s) provide you with support and coaching to be effective in your role?
Rarely
Did you receive clear and actionable feedback from your manager(s) during your work term?
Never
Did you feel comfortable asking your manager(s) questions, when needed?
Never
Feedback to management about the internship/co-op program: 

The manager was not really there to give support to my department, and the supervisor only pushed staff members to work harder to complete more samples on time and would accept a whole bunch of samples from other locations even though we were already short staff. As a student, it was as if we've been working there for a long time, we're expected to perform efficient and the quality must be good throughout, but support was never given!

Social experience

To what degree did the team make you feel welcome, included and valued?
Like family
How often were there opportunities to participate in social activities with your colleagues?
All the time
Describe the office environment/culture.

The coworkers were awesome! We would hang out outside of work hours and hold birthday parties for each other! It's like a big family here, other than not getting support from upper management.

What are the benefits/perks of working here?
Social activities

Final notes

Did the internship/co-op experience match what was described in the job listing and interview?
Regularly
Would you recommend this internship/co-op to a friend?
Probably
Would you work at this employer full-time if offered a job?
Maybe
Why did you choose this employer for your internship/co-op?
Work types Location
Advice to future interns applying to this company? 

Be prepared for the fast pace, so get lots of sleep; there are times where senior staff can only explain things once so if you don't understand or missed something, make sure to ask! Be prepared to handle two-three stations on your own if you work weekends because there are less staff scheduled to work weekends and Saturdays are the worst!

Other than that, if you show that you are willing to learn, every analyst/assistant is willing to help in any way they possibly can, so don't be shy!!!