OUR CHICAGO SPORTS Blog

Intern Perspectives: Stairs and Elevators

I have now completed my first few weeks of working in an office. I have my own desk and my own laptop; I have to commute downtown every morning and complete productive work each day. It is a totally different life from my past two years of taking classes.  The routine of schoolwork had become normal to me and I am excited to step up and embrace the challenge of creating a new day-to-day routine this fall as an intern.

Taking the Stairs

At Northwestern, I live on the fourth floor of my building. When I moved in, I promised myself that I would take the stairs every time, no matter how tired I was or how fast I needed to be. Taking the stairs is the healthier choice for environment and for my body. Besides, I might pass by my friends on the way up. The World Sport Chicago office is on the sixth floor of its building, and for some reason, I naturally took the elevator to get upstairs my first few days in the office. It was just my natural instinct; six flights is a lot. Today there happened to be a long line waiting for the elevator so I decided to skip the wait and start on the stairs. They did not take nearly as long as I expected and I did not feel exhausted after the trip. Taking the stairs, while certainly a bit more work, really was not that different than taking the elevator and I skipped the down time of staring at my phone waiting for the building’s one elevator to come fetch me.

I think the stairs and elevator comparison analogizes well to how I have come to view office work. One can easily take the elevator: wait for work to come up, quickly do it, and upon completion be grateful that it is done. Or, one can climb the stairs by taking initiative, finding projects, and putting work in to make them meaningful and worthwhile. Both methods get the job done and contribute positively to the organization but, in the end, I think the “stairs” method is built on a more solid foundation of conscious decision making and steady, incremental work, and will result in a more polished final product. It is my goal for the rest of the year to take the stairs whenever possible. I would like to be more intentional and proactive about the work I do and to make sure that while I am here, I am using all of the time that I have to be productive and make a difference to the lives of the people we serve.

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