Relationships at the Office

Graduating college and being flung into the real world after 18 years of education can seem terrifying; actually, it is terrifying. However, internships allow us to learn critical skills used in the corporate world before graduation. Internships, in a sense, ease the transition from college to working life.


I started my interning in Portland around the beginning of September and have nothing but wonderful things to say about the company I am interning for. I am given a handful of projects each day, I have great work based relationships, and I feel welcomed each day. But I consider myself lucky, because this is not always the case.

If you’re interning at a company where you don’t fit in or feel welcome, remember this quote from They Don’t Teach Corporate in College by Alexandra Levit:

“Work relationships are similar to family relationships. We don’t necessarily choose them and we might prefer not to have them, but, for our sanity’s sake, we have to make them work as best we can.”

As unfortunate as it sounds, we are stuck with the people we work with. If you love your coworkers then you have nothing to worry about, but disliking coworkers can lead to tension and stress in the workplace. Levit connects work and family relationships together by demonstrating that we can’t choose who our family is nor can we choose who we work with. This is a great reminder if you’re struggling to get along with your coworkers. Remember that you are a partnership, much like a family is and to always remain positive and keep your head up.

Allyson Walters

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4 Responses to Relationships at the Office

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I never thought about comparing work relationships to family relationships. It makes sense. They are a part of your life whether you like it or not! It’s just easier for everyone all around if you maintain an air of courtesy and respect to everyone, even the people in your life that you dislike. Also, it prevents someone flinging mashed potatoes at your face during Thanksgiving dinner.

  2. Good post! So much we focus on the work side of our internships, but there are other valuable lessons and skills we can learn as well, like learning to work with others in a professional setting. Getting along with coworkers can be challenging sometimes, but there are so many rewarding aspects of having good working relationships. And it’s nice to have people around you who are dealing with the same work pressures and issues you are!

  3. madelinestone says:

    This is a nice reminder. I at the beginning of my internship I felt a little uneasy around my boss which led to a few awkward small talk conversations. But once you grasp the importance of your co-workers forming relationships with them becomes much easier. Understand what unique talents they bring to your team and appreciate them for that. Now after only being at my organization for a little over five weeks I already feel like my team are my work friends. They are their for me, to help me integrate into professional life as journalist and share their wisdom. After all they have already been where you want to go!

  4. Thank you for your thoughts on this. Work relationships are a tricky thing to master and strike a heathy balance with. Especially when alcohol is involved its easy to feel inclined blurt things out that you maybe shouldn’t etc. One of the reasons I find my work in environment so special is because of the people whom I share the office with. It really does make all the difference.

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