A little over a year ago, when I was just applying to Parsons and seriously considering, for the first time, the idea of becoming a full-time scholar, I talked to one of my best friends’ dad about all the decisions I was trying to make in my life. And although he congratulated me for being so well grounded—something I don’t feel I am even now—he also suggested me to give an opportunity to a “real-life” job—that is, one outside the magical world of academics.
So I did.
During my winter holiday and the first weeks of the spring semester at school, I searched for an internship. This wasn’t an easy process because it meant figuring out something I thought I would like to work on, and then convincing someone of actually hiring me, which was probably the toughest part of it all… Not because I don’t trust in my own capabilities, but because I know there are tons of very well-prepared individuals and because the fact that I’m good at certain things—like researching and spending hours going through the same old book/paper/theory at a time—doesn’t mean I’m particularly appropriate for a certain type of job.
So, after sending what seemed like millions of emails, after being—or more like thinking I was being—super intense following up with people, and after getting a few “no”s, I finally got what I wanted: a part-time internship in a small and creative business for the summer. And then I spent the past few months giving this opportunity to the “real-life” job to conquer my heart, trying to always keep the positive energy I had on the first day—which, as with everything in life, gets harder to achieve with time and as you get used to things—and, more than anything, trying to learn as much as I could. And because I finished my internship last week and left the office one last time—for now, at least—on Friday, feeling accomplished yet a little nostalgic for what I was leaving behind, I decided to sum up the things I learned there.