Raising the confidence

20 June 2011
It’s perfectly acceptable to begin your first college internship your junior or senior year of college. That, afterall, is what most people are doing on my trip. It’s just that I go to AU where it’s a norm to be working for a congressman your first year of school.

When students, my freshman year, were searching and claiming internships on the hill, I was settling in to my life at AU. Sophomore year rolled ‘round and I embraced the prospect of making money. I devoted my year to the respected profession of babysitting, the same year many of peers began their second or third internship.

Here I am, an internship baby, not sure if I’m prepared for my first day in the working world.

My internship is in the city, just a few train stops from my apartment. One other boy from my program is interning with me at the same location. He got to Sydney a week early and has assured me he knows how to get to our workplace. Work begins at 8:30. We’re leaving at 7:45.

Presently, I’m sitting on my balcony, gazing ahead at the morning light highlighting the city a hue of amber. I’ll be on my way to the city center in 30 minutes. By then, the sun will have fully risen. A new workday will have begun.

The prospect of beginning a professional internship unnerves me. I question if possess the skills set needed, if they’re strong enough, if I’ll be viewed as an asset to the company or just an intern, struggling to keep up with the plethora of experience evident in the company’s employees.

But I can’t dwell on the what ifs. It’s unrealistic to expect I’ll glide naturally in without the bumps in the road. I remind myself that I am entering my third year of college and therefore not entering the office blindly. I’m carrying two years of communication classes and a decade of social media skill. Hell, I live and breathe Facebook and my thoughts flow in hashtags. I should view my internship as a challenge to myself, rather than a moment to question my confidence. A challenge of applying the skills set I currently own and direct them towards tasks assigned. I can’t compare myself to the other employees or my fellow program participant. I need to focus on myself and be proud of the work I will and I can achieve.

The roads below me have a steady flow of traffic rushing in opposite directions. Like in Europe, the cars drive on the opposite side of the road here. But like the world, the drivers are likely on their way to work. I forget, they’ve all been in my place before. It’s slightly reassuring.

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