In the first of many phone calls, Ms. Havey, my fabulous kindergarten teacher, contacted my house after school. In her most genuine, grandmother voice, Ms. Havey asked my mother if she was aware that her daughter wanted to grow gross, green scales and be a dinosaur. She continued to explain her concern.
In a class assignment, each student was to draw a picture of what they wanted to be when they grew up. As expected, many students depicted themselves as teachers, astronauts, police officers and future Presidents of the United States. Approaching this task in the same serious manner that I approach life, I struggled to come up with the most awesome career in the fifteen minutes allotted to the assignment. White knuckling my markers, I carefully drew my ideal future: a sunny, blue outdoors scene with heart-shaped clouds where I towered over every triangle tree as a green T-Rex.
Fast forward fourteen years. Still not entirely sure of what I wanted to be when I grew up, I began experimenting in the form of internships, which are, in my opinion, one of the best ways to gain experience in a field that interests you.
To succeed in an internship you first have to swallow your pride completely. Yes, there is a reason they hired you, but you will be tested for the first two weeks or so. Someone who cannot photocopy or perform a seemingly simple task probably cannot be trusted to perform a more substantial task. Also, if you are asked to get the coffee or to perform another mindless job, just do it, and do it with a smile.
From a communications internship in Boston, graphic designing in London, public policy in Washington DC, and two advertising internships back in Boston, I owe much of my experience to my parents who always smile when approached with another crazy idea, and, of course, the BU Office of Career Services whose website is filled with tips, tricks and links to amazing opportunities. Check out their website at http://www.bu.edu/careers/.
Take advantage of this time right now, especially before classes consume your time to apply for those internship opportunities for this semester and over the summer. Even if you do not think you are qualified for a position, just go for it.
Starting what might very well be my last internship this semester, I began reminiscing about my dinosaur days that now seem so prehistoric. What would I draw if I had to perform the same assignment today? While I am not entirely sure what it is that I want to be when I grow up, I do know that interning has helped me to approach this question with a bit more ease.
So what’s next for this marketing and advertising student who seems to just love unpaid labor? An internship with General Mills, so I can finally call myself a serial intern.
Lindsey Frick is a Senior in the School of Management, and when she is not in class or interning for free, she works to pay for her cooking habits.
6 Comments on “What do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?”
Love the article Lindsey .. great job! Love you .. Dad.
When I grow up, I want to be a Disney princess. Especially in this job market.
I still want to be a tree….Awesome article!
Excellent article!!! It was entertaining and informative. The best part to remember is when you are presented with an opportunity … ” just go for it!”