I’ve always thought that being a web designer or a journalist would be an independent job. With so much of the work being done on a computer—be it typing, editing, or working in a program like Photoshop—very little involves human interaction. Thus, I thought my work as a web intern would be relatively independent as well.
The past few weeks have taught me otherwise.
When my supervisor, Dr. Nathan Wolek, was out of the office sick, I still met with my faculty advisor, Laura Glander. The meeting was productive and concise. We listed a few tasks, I took notes, and that week’s job got done. But parts of the system I had grown familiar with fell apart. There were areas outside of Laura’s expertise that I needed to question Dr. Wolek about. I realized quickly that I was far from self-sufficient. My tasks were not going to get done unless I figured something out of my own, did a bit of trouble-shooting, and carved a path to the answers I needed.
The following week, Laura was out of town. Then the week after that, Dr. Wolek was unable to attend our weekly meeting.
My faculty adviser and supervisor are back, and I’m thankful. More gets done at a meeting and time is used more efficiently. We can plan ahead for future projects and there’s room for me to ask questions about improvement, both things that cannot do on my own. As much as my mix of journalism and web work is a solo job, I’m coming to understand how valuable a team can be.