Because next week is a holiday week and also shipping week (the last week before the entire issue has to be finalized and sent to the printer), most of the people in the office were pressured to finish everything early so they could take a couple days off.  This meant that I didn’t have a lot of one-on-one teaching/learning experiences from my bosses in the lifestyle department because they were very focused on their own work.  I did have some tasks, had the opportunity to sit in on a cover meeting, and had an intern meeting with the art/photo departments learning about what they do, but overall I had more down time than usual in between assignments.  I didn’t like the idea of doing nothing when all the employees had a lot to do.  So, one skill I developed a little bit this week was figuring out how to be helpful without direction.

I remembered one of my bosses talking about the piles of the boxes that needed to be returned in the supply closet, so when I was free, I sorted them.  I labeled props that were put aside for an upcoming cover shoot because I remembered the lifestyle director mention that she was worried another department would take them and that we wouldn’t have what we needed for the photo shoot.  I compiled a document of PR contacts from all the companies I’ve been in contact with so far about credits information so that next time I need to contact the same company I will be able to get the materials we need faster, without fishing around trying to figure out how to communicate with them.  I made some expensive returns as soon as I could so that they wouldn’t have to wait until the last minute to get reimbursed for unused products.  And, when I heard the lifestyle director say that we all had to bring everything back up from a photoshoot upstairs, and then get pulled into a meeting, I took it upon myself to take a few trips on my own to bring everything up from the studio space into a service elevator and back to our department before her meeting was over.

It was all about taking note of all the little things that are mentioned in passing.  It was also important to learn when I should stay out of people’s way and not be the nagging intern distracting them.  In the end, taking small proactive steps helped me to be more observant.  Whether the things I worked on independently during the gaps of my day were noticed or not, it was nice to know I may have made a tiny difference in helping shipping week go smoother.