A Change of Pace

So I’m settling in at my new internship and wow, it is a change of pace. In a good way, though, of course!

Not only am I doing differing kinds of work at the CEA, but it’s also a very different kind of organization than any other that I’ve worked at in the past. The CEA is big–they have a beautiful building in Crystal City, lots of amazing resources, and a huge and talented team. It’s also organized; no more scrambling to find old records, archives, or juggling assignments not related to my actual job function. At CEA they’ve got their stuff together, and things just seem to work.

That’s not belittle my past internships–they were all fantastic too!–nor do I want to appear naive. Every place of employment has its ups and downs, and I’m sure not everything always runs smoothly at the CEA. Just as it was in the Senate Majority Leader’s office on Capitol Hill, at the American Legacy Foundation, and at MS&L, there are always hiccups along the way. But that said, so far I’ve been extremely impressed, and I’m thrilled to part of such a unique and sophisticated organization.

But it’s certainly a different environment, too. Beyond the building and the size of the organization, the culture in this office is one I haven’t experienced before. While admittedly I’m coming in at a relatively calm point of the year (I’m sure things will change significantly as we ramp up to CES in January), the office just doesn’t seem quite as high-strung as some of my past offices have. While everyone has plenty of work to do and lots of responsibility, no one is really freaking out, or being forced to stay until the wee hours of the night to wrap up projects. People are flexible and relaxed, and I’m finding that really that makes for a more enjoyable workday.

Part of this might have to do with the atmosphere of fitness and activity they create, as well. The building has a very nice, full-featured gym, and every week they hold training courses in yoga, strength training, running, and more. I’ll be honest it’s not what I expected from the Consumer Electronics Association, given the stigma usually associated with electronics and technology (i.e. geeks!), but it’s a pleasant surprise. And I already feel like I’m catching on to the fitness bug–I’ve been biking to and from work every day (about 15 miles, provided I make no side trips) and I can already feel myself getting back in shape.

Anyway, it’s certainly a change of pace, but it’s a good one. Part of the reason I’ve set out to experience so many different internships has been to get a feel for the diversity in different workplaces and work cultures. I have no doubt I’ve already achieved that, and I’m excited to delve into the CEA culture more over the coming months!

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