First Day Butterflies

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Looking back to my childhood, I could never sleep the night before gift-giving holidays, birthdays or big family vacations. Now that I’ve graduated from American University’s Public Communication Master’s program, I find myself laying awake again unable to sleep from excitement. Tomorrow, is my first day at Discovery Communication, and I wasn’t sleeping, but tossing and looking at the clock, nervously waiting for 7 AM to roll around.

That was Monday morning, at 3 AM; I was both anxious and excited. I kept looking back to a year in the past. Before I was an American University student, I was a server at a mid-Michigan Olive Garden. I had a bachelors degree, I’d graduated with departmental honors and was desperately trying to escape the soup, salad & breadsticks rigmarole, but nothing was panning. Scarcely a year later, I’m in DC and about to begin a Digital Media Internship at Discovery News. I felt prepared thanks to the PC program, but I was still doubting. What if I broke down and they said they knew I should go back to service work?!

Realistically, many interns feel nervous, anxious and possibly overwhelmed. This is normal. Just remember, while you may feel under-qualified or low in confidence, the people who hired you were not duped or bamboozled. You offer something to your internship, maybe simply be a fresh perspective, perhaps a skill from your classes they lacked, you may not know, but they do. The boses wouldn’t have hired us as interns if we didn’t deserve it.

Eventually, I started my first day, and spent some face time with my supervisor. Blown away by how much I’d learned and how much I was ready to continue to learn, I chatted with confidence. It was invigorating!

So, for now, go back to sleep and trust that your supervisors trust you. Remember, they expect you to ask co-workers for directions to the café and for you to meet new people. While internships may offer a beeline to a future career, this is your chance for you to assess them just as much as them to assess you.

By this writing, I have obviously survived my first day. I have my own desk, my own email address (which is true, geek street cred) and a goal to personally create at least one video before the end of the summer. As a Public Communication student, this is a stretch of my training, but ambition is very important to me. I need to push forward to learn and grow. As Yoda said,”Do, or do not, there is no try.”



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