Sometimes I like to take a step back and think about where I am today. It’s not like my life is anything spectacular or anything, but I’m really happy with where I am today. Admittedly, however, I don’t feel like it’s because of anything I have ever done. I sometimes just stop in amazement, bewildered at why XX hired me or why XX gave me a leadership position, and I just have to stop and say “thank you” to everyone who ever gave me a chance, when I didn’t really deserve it.
During my first internship I ever had, I had just graduated high school. But, someone took a chance and hired me. I didn’t know anything about their business and I never even had a formal interview. But, they gave me the job and I learned a lot that summer. I learned what it meant to work full time, I learned how to interact with colleagues, and I learned that the best thing to do in a position is to just work hard and try your best.
Shortly after I began college, I sent my resume in for a Communications Internship. I was extremely underqualified, but my boss took a chance on me. She was willing to be patient and teach me what I needed to know and I learned so much about the Communications field and about the workings of a University Department during this time. It didn’t stop here. This woman worked on my personal development and invested in my future and my career. I gained a strong mentor and friend.
For some reason, Purdue University decided to place me in the Honor’s College, again, something I don’t feel like I deserved. However, interacting with bright and dedicated students during my college career has inspired my own learning. I’ve also gotten to interact with a variety of faculty and have gotten the chance to do some undergraduate research. My professors have no reason to give up their time for me, to work on a small undergraduate project, but they do.
Last summer, I again just reached out and sent in my resume for a position and company that I was unfamiliar with. This was a challenging internship, but I learned a lot about what it meant to work for a Communications firm and how to balance work and a social life. I don’t feel like I deserved the position, but I gained some valuable knowledge through this time.
This past semester, I think I put my whole family through the ringer. I studied abroad for six months, and they let me. But, I gained a ton of independence and confidence through this time. I was able to have some time to reflect on what my expectations for myself were, without the influence of others.
Now this summer, I have another internship. I came in with low availability (due to studying abroad) and as a young person in a field of experienced professors. Yet, they decided to give me a shot. They’re allowing me to manage the communications for the Center, and I’m learning how to manage my own time and tasks, while also taking some creative risks. They treat me with respect and I don’t feel like I deserve it.
This is not a complete list, but it just touches the tip of the gratitude I must express to all those who gave me opportunities I didn’t deserve. It’s helped me grow and gain invaluable experience.
What I can take away from this, is that, I think we’ll always come in to new ventures feeling under-qualified and overwhelmed. We will feel like our bosses are crazy for giving us a position and we’ll work hard to prove we want it. And at the end of the day, we will feel grateful for having a chance.