Diary of an Intern

by Sophia Welton

Diary of an intern – by Sophia Welton

Posted: 25/06/2021, by:

Let’s start with introductions! My name is Sophia and I’m currently doing an internship at Tricolor Associates. I’m two months in and it has been an adventure. I’ve grown a lot as an employee, as a person and a heritage lover. This hasn’t come without its growing pains, as I like to call them, but we all know that stepping outside your comfort zone is what gets you where you want to be. 

There are some universal experiences guaranteed for an intern but what’s so interesting about working at Tricolor is that no two days are the same.

The first task for any intern is to get to know the foundations of the company and how everything functions, whatever the project. Project management systems, google drive, case studies, the format of the weekly business meeting etc. These are the key learnings which are the first to go from new to normal and become automatic in the day-to-day. 

A universal characteristic of being an intern is, I believe, at first, panicking about the smallest things, but also celebrating the smallest wins. I think one feature of remote working is that once or twice in the very early days when the moments of irrational panic would surface, visions of a colleague’s face going red with fury and disappointment would appear in my mind. The reality being I’d get a perfectly apt email response 5 minutes later reminding me that there was no issue in the first place, my colleagues are lovely people and that assuming the worst is not helpful for anyone. This is, perhaps, an aspect of my senior colleague not being within my eyeline, another one being that no one has seen my fist pumps in the air and ‘woohoos!’ when I receive a ‘good job’ or a ‘great stuff’, which is probably for the best. 

As it stands now, with great opportunities come big choices, as I now need to start deciphering which area of Tricolor’s services I want to become my niche. Of course, the long-term goal is to (hopefully) become, like the directors who steer the Tricolor ship, an expert in all Tricolor has to offer. But after my 6 months as an intern, what will make my team say “that’s definitely a job for Sophia”? Do I want to follow in the footsteps of the previous Tricolor intern and become the next, quote, Project Evaluation Queen? Do I want to become an expert in fundraising? What about Activity Plans? Or Business Planning? As time goes by I’ll continue to complete work for different projects and I will see where my best skills and interests lie. 

Number one in the running at the moment is ‘Interpretation Projects’. The idea of using historical research to uncover key narrative themes, making sure they promote the core values of a heritage organisation and being at the heart of the ever-evolving visitor experience, seems perfect. But as I take on different tasks, I realise I can’t be too sure of anything just yet.

 

For example, Commercial Options research, words definitely not included in my cultural memory and historical narrative degrees, was one of the larger tasks I’ve undertaken recently. A couple of months ago I’d have assumed the unfamiliarity of it would mean it wouldn’t be something I’d want to pursue. However, it was a task I found really eye-opening and intriguing. It was my first piece of research I presented to the client myself, another of the mini yet massive milestones along my internship journey, and it was an experience which further instilled in me what Tricolor is all about. It’s about making transformative possibilities happen, which is done in a huge variety of ways, but all for something I’ve always known was vitally important, heritage. 

I’m really excited to see where I am at the end of my internship and hopefully it’s just the start of my Tricolor journey.

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