I am learning new and expanding my horizon of understanding, knowledge, and information, though I get bit confused sometimes. I am adapting to new work environment and culture slowly. I want to share my learning through the process of adapting to a totally different environment in DC, and are as follows:
1. Be open and ask. Until you are honest and open about yourself, nobody will come to help you. If you don’t know anything, just say ‘I don’t know, but I am here to learn’, which gives an impression to others that you are very much willing to learn.
2. Seek support. If you need any information or help, just ask your colleagues/ supervisor/ fellows. People around you are really kind and willing to support if you seek help.
3. Overcome cultural barriers. We are from a different world with different cultures, values, languages, and ideologies but these should not hinder our learning process. At some point in your stay, you are going to experience culture shock. So, when you find something is not working, admit yourself that you are experiencing culture shock. Once you admit it, you will try to work on it and overcome it eventually. But, the first step is always admitting that you are experiencing culture shock. As for me, the first couple of weeks have been so hard to comprehend what the colleagues are talking about, I tried to get along with them but could not. I started feeling alone. After a week, I realized that I am experiencing culture shock and I worked on it.
4. Communicate. Try to communicate with your colleagues, teammates, other fellows, people you meet at events, local ambassadors and atlas corps staff. For instance, I was confused with my training plan, I sought help from fellows’ fellow and they are so kind that they helped me how can I plan my training plan. Fellows have been through the experience so you can learn so much from them.
5. Be proactive. You are here to learn and make a difference in your own life and other peoples’ lives in future. So, come up with ideas, share and be proactive to act.
6. Try to do a new thing which you have not done before. I have tried to learn riding bike in DC and I am proud to say that I can now ride a bike confidently. I am hydrophobic but I did Kayaking to overcome my fear of water. I kept on reminding other fellows that I don’t know swimming and they made fun of me. The moment I started to paddle a Kayak, it felt awesome. It is true that fear is a mental construct, it’s just in our head. Doing these stuff, made me feel empowered and happy.
7. Enjoy and have fun. Atlas Corp Fellowship is not only about gaining professional experience. Don’t be too serious about your professional career. Try to make this opportunity for a life-changing experience. Try to explore and learn from the people, cities, culture. Build a network, explore the cities, make friends, learn and have fun.
8. Be positive and optimistic. We are learning every day and we have a great future waiting for us. With positive and learning temperament, you can achieve what you want.

1 thought on “What I learned in the first two months in DC !”

  1. Atlas Corps says:

    This is very insightful, Shushmita, and an inspiration as well!

    Warm regards,

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