I recently caught up with one of my friends from college to talk about how our summers and internships have been going. As a bit of general information, a standard summer internship starts after Memorial Day weekend and lasts about eight to ten weeks. Tanger, on the other hand, started their internship program in the second week of May and lasts for twelve weeks. My friend is working with an internal audit department of a fairly large company in Charlotte, NC so I felt her internship experience is a pretty fair comparison to judge my experience against.

To begin with, she started her internship on June 3rd and will stay with them for eight weeks. The first week at a new place is always a little challenging. Everyone is trying to figure out their place and what the routine around the office is. Needless to say, she was a little shaky at first but is getting the hang of things. One of the first things I asked her was if she had the chance to meet a lot of people. She hesitated a little and told me she’d really only met her department and the HR group and was confused by my question. She was shocked when I recounted how I’d met at least one person from every department here, and how everyone was so welcoming, friendly, and interested to learn about where I went to school. This warm welcome I had experienced here at Tanger was unfortunately not the same for my friend.

In addition, I asked her about how she was adjusting and fitting in and if the work she was doing was enjoyable. It’s hard to make a fair assessment about this seeing as she has only been there for one week, but it made me realize something very important. Not everyone is as lucky as I am.  I  have managers who genuinely want to teach me how accounting works in the business world and will take the time out of their day to sit with me and walk me through how what I’m doing is playing a part in the company as a whole.

I was a little worried at first about taking a twelve-week long internship in a state that I’d never lived in before and knowing absolutely no one here. Now, at the end of my first month working for Tanger, it’s clear that this was the right decision for me. The people here have been so nice and welcoming that I hardly feel like I’m away from home.  I have great bosses that give me REAL projects to work on, which is more than some of my friends can say. There is still eight weeks left to go and I’ve already learned so much! I’m excited to see what else I’ll be introduced to.