I’m not here to lecture you about talking to strangers, I’m sure you got enough of that as a child. However sometimes in the workplace you can’t avoid it.
Personally I was always terrible. I never knew what to say or how to act around people I didn’t know, but just this week something clicked.
I was sent down to greet people coming for a meeting with my boss and one had got lost (our office doesn’t have the name on the door yet), so there was a need for introductions and some good old small talk whilst we waited.
Usually at this point I would mumble something incoherent and sigh with relief when sent back to my task. However the wait meant I had to adapt. After a few minuets of, in my opinion, sparkling conversation I managed to walk away without feeling foolish for the first time.
I’m not sure what happened but it couldn’t have come at a better time. So my advice is just don’t over think things, the person you are talking to could be more uncomfortable than you are. It will come with practice and you would be surprised at how many people are interested in placement students.