My, my how the tables have turned...
Annapolis, MD, Tuesday 11:48 am.
I’m sitting in an internship interview. Nervous fumbling words, amateur works of art printed and stitched perfectly into books and me, this time sitting on the other end of the table—the interviewer.
I never thought I’d make it here, to the other side of the intern interview, barading and interrogating younger aspiring professionals about their works, hopes and dreams and the glamorous career they will flawlessly attain upon receiving their magic ticket in mid May— a diploma— and how this unpaid (…what bullshit) opportunity will for sure get them their.
Their energy is refreshing, their drive is unparalleled. Something I’ve seemed to find hard to hold onto to––day in and day out––during the monotonous daily 9-5s.
But looking back, two unpaid internships later, I think the grit and the grind was the most appealing and most worthwhile for me. How I was going to survive on $19 that week? What excuse do I come up with to have the long weekend off? How do I awkwardly ask for a checkpoint on the project I’ve been stalling on all day? How am I sitting here, working all day unpaid but not complaining?
I owe a lot to my internships. It took me to new places, caused me to be responsible for myself as I was flung into the real world. The day to day was interesting seeing how companies or agencies work and flow. The experience was appealing to my future employers and when I was able to get my hands into something new and cool, the whole “unpaid part” seemed well worth it.
I’m still standing by my original opinion--snag all the experience you can, talk to people, ask them stupid questions, ask them random questions. Learn and never stop learning. And then drink and eat away your last 19 dollars and learn some more.
xo, happy intern szn.