Effectively Communicating in the Workplace – Dylan Armstrong

Thanks to the generosity of the Bergami Family and the UNH Division of Student Affairs, eight UNH undergraduate students received a stipend to cover expenses related to their unpaid internship experience.  The eight recipients will be reflecting on their internship experience over the course of the summer. This entry is from Dylan Armstrong, Fire Science Major, who is interning with the Rhode Island State Fire Marshal.

Communication is vital in any career and truly, the only way to improve communication skills is to be placed in situations where you are forced to communicate with others in the workplace. Through working at my internship, I have been able to witness how effective communication plays a large role in improving the workplace. As I walk into the office every day, I think the same thing, which is “I want to learn as much as I can today.” Approaching every day with this attitude allows me to walk away with new skills and communication plays a large role in this process. The reason why communication is so important regarding my internship is that I want to gain as much hands-on experience in this field as well as gain experience working in this office and to achieve this, I need to effectively communicate with all the employees in the office.

One of the most effective means of communication that I have experienced through my internship is simply asking questions. Anytime I am working with an investigator, I ask related questions to increase my knowledge regarding a specific topic while also displaying my interest in the subject material. Due to the laid back workplace environment, I have been able to feel very comfortable with all of the employees, even from the first day, which allows me to comfortably communicate as if I was a full-time employee. One item related to communication that I have been able to witness first hand within the office is the importance to turn to fellow colleagues when you need help with something. Since there are only five fire investigators within the office, they all are willing to help one another at a moment’s notice, making the office run very smoothly. The last communication tactic that I have witnessed throughout my internship is conversational talking between co-workers on breaks. For example, everyone in the office eats lunch together in our conference room every day. During this time, everyone seems to put work aside and simply talk freely with one another. This method of communication fosters a better workplace environment and strengthens bonds between co-workers. Even something so simple as talking openly to co-workers during a lunch break can make such a large impact.

In the end, communication is an important factor in everything that we do during the day and this internship has allowed me to witness how effective communication can leave a positive impact on any situation.

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