Roughly two weeks ago I completed my internship with a New York City agency. Roughly one week ago, I arrived back home in Florida to thaw my soul.
During that time I was able to reflect on what would become my next steps. Ultimately, my answers are still, “I don’t know,” but I’m happy to say, I have an idea.
On the last day of my internship I wrote, “New York City is mad, but it’s magic,” and while that statement is true, I don’t know if it has enough magic to enchant me to return. I’ve mentioned my feelings in a previous post, but something was missing. I wasn’t necessarily lying, but I wasn’t telling the whole truth, and those facts are: I didn’t enjoy the agency with whom I interned and I didn’t really enjoy NYC.
In the four months I lived in New Jersey, commuted into the city and interned with a NYC agency, I fell victim to individuals who disregarded anything resembling civility to strangers and fell prey to an office that misrepresented their true value of interns.
Of the two, the latter proves a far more severe blow. Wherever my life takes me to serve God, I know I will encounter individuals who are rough around the edges. However, I walked into this internship anticipating hardships, but I never anticipated the heartache.
I left previous internships with an elevated confidence in my skills and abilities. While I did have moments of doubt, they were rare and brief. However, during this internship, I seemed to be plagued with a cloud of doubt, though I’d start my day with faith in the success that awaited me. All too often I’d end the day questioning not only my skills, but my passion and my purpose.
Is this what I want to turn into a career? Is this how I’m to live the life I’m called to live? Is this for me?
I’d also find myself feeling like a liability and a burden, if I were noticed at all. During one particular occasion, I overheard someone refer to me as, “the little Asian intern.” While I initially laughed it off, I later realized not only can those four words be interpreted as demeaning and politically incorrect, but it diminishes views on self worth and harbors the growth of doubt.
Is this the culture of every office? Is the type of environment I want to join? Are these the type of professionals I aspire to become?
My worries and doubt followed me like a shadow and I clinged to brief, light-hearted moments with some fellow interns. I shared my worries with them, my family and my friends. My Mom, with her hopes that I’ll one day become a lawyer or a doctor suggested Law School or Medical School. My friends, taking my side, comforted me saying, “You’re awesome. Don’t worry about it.” But, of course, I worried.
It wasn’t until I reached out to a friend, fellow Brazen PR team member and aspiring PR professional that some of my worries were diminished. She reminded me of a fact that had faded into the distance. She reminded me, I am talented and I am worthy. Her email read:
“…remain confident. I remember back when you first joined the PR program you kept saying ‘I don’t know why they picked me!’ and by the time you were done, you were 1/4 of the BEST GROUP IN THE ENTIRE CLASS. We wouldn’t have won that contest without you. You are in the very top tier. Just remember your worth, and while I know it is SO SO SO beyond frustrating to not have a job and a stable place to land right now, know that it is ok and that it WILL happen. Just don’t let it kill your spirits because you have the talent. Don’t ever lose that confidence that you’ve got what it takes…”
I’ve now ventured into the job hunt with restored confidence in my skills, my ability and my worth. My hopes for NYC have also been restored – though only a small bit. To say it’s my main city of focus would be a lie, but truth be told, it isn’t the end, maybe…just maybe, it’s a respite.