If there is one thing I have learned in my 21 and a half years of experience, it is to take advantage of every opportunity you can. Even if it is something you are uncomfortable with, such as trying a new food or jumping out of an airplane. When an opportunity presents itself and you have the ability to take advantage of it, DO IT! You’ll be amazed at what you learn and how you’ll grow. Putting yourself outside your comfort zone enables you to really live life and experience great things.
When I was in high school, I was unsure of what I wanted to do. I tried many different activities including an academic decathlon team, student council, the robotics team, chorus, prom and fashion show committee, modeling, taught CCD, and traveled abroad. You know what I learned? I learned that I love being a leader and I love planning events; I learned that I loved to travel, try new foods, and meet new people; I learned that, when I was involved and made an impact, I was a better person. I took all of this to college with me, where I grew even more.
In college I knew I wanted to get involved, I just wasn’t sure where. Then I found Pi Sigma Epsilon, PSE. PSE is a professional, co-ed, business fraternity that focuses on sales, marketing, and management. At the time, I was not interested in any of these, but I liked the thought of a business organization and I figured I could get at least a group of friends out of it. Looking back, it is funny to me that this is all I thought I would get out of it, but hindsight is 20/20 right? Deciding to attend that first meeting, to turn in the application, to make an investment in this organization was 100% the best decision I have ever made, ever! What I learned from this is more beneficial to me than what I’ve learned for the past three years in the classroom environment. The experiences and opportunities I’ve been able to have are numerous. Holding leadership positions, including president, traveling all over the country for competitions, engaging and empowering others, putting together presentations that WIN awards (!!!!), helping people find their place, learning the sales process, and being able to share what I’ve learned with chapters all over the country are just a “few” of the things I have learned. I found my place, my family, at Bryant all because of my openness to new experience.
Thank you for allowing me the excitement of talking about what I love, but that is not the entire focus of this blog. Trying new things is scary and hard! Opening yourself up to the unknown is uncomfortable, but this is where you grow! This is where you learn about yourself and what you are capable of! So here is my advice:
Trust yourself: CAN. DO. IT! If you encounter something and get even the smallest bit excited about it, but are hesitant, try it! There is a small part of you that thinks this is a great opportunity, so run with that. Maybe there is something you’ve always wanted to try but never thought it was something you could do. If you think you’d enjoy it, go after it! Last summer, I had the opportunity to jump out of a plane, which sounds much cooler than saying I went sky-diving. If you’ve met me, you’d know that I am someone who likes my feet planted firmly on the ground. However, I did not think twice about this experience and immediately said yes. Later, I realized what craziness I had gotten myself into, but I jumped and lived and had an amazing experience.
Things happen for a reason: I’m a firm believer in the idea that things happen the way they are supposed to happen. If an opportunity comes across your plate, it is supposed to be there! So why not take advantage of it? Often times, we see opportunities such as this and think “I’d love to do that, but I don’t think it’s for me.” IT IS!!! Many people get wrapped up in the idea that “they’ll do something eventually” which is exactly how I felt about sky-diving. But when is eventually? If you keep pushing experiences off, you’ll find yourself one day an 80 year old and not experienced everything you wanted to.
Things always work out: This is especially important when trying new things. Repeat this: things. always. work. out. Something that causes people to hesitate when trying something new, is the idea that they might hate it, fail at it, not do well (in the case of sky-diving: DIE). Maybe you’ll hate it, maybe you’ll fail, but what if you absolutely LOVE it? What if it opens your mind to 1000 new opportunities and ideas? What if you find a new passion? This last question alone should encourage you to try new things and be open to experience.
He or she who hesitates is lost: This is a pretty generic quote, but the first time I heard about it was in a book apart of A Series of Unfortunate Events series, a book I read when I was in middle school and it has stuck with me ever since. I apply this to most aspects of my life, including while pulling out into traffic (which is especially true). If you hesitate over a decision, time might run out and you may never get the opportunity again. I’m not saying throw caution to the wind, but if it is a time sensitive thing, this is important to keep in mind.
As this is my final blog, and thus can write anything and not get in trouble (JUST KIDDING TONY!), I would like to share my experience and why I came to MSI. For those of you who do not know me, I have nothing to do with HR nor have I had any experience with the field. I’m actually a Management and Psychology double major and hope to pursue a career in event planning, which I found a love for after signing up to head my high school’s senior prom committee. MSI wasn’t even on my radar for internship opportunities and I barely even knew what executive head-hunting was before Tony spoke at one of my Pi Sigma Epsilon meetings. Then the opportunity came across my plate when Tony approached me and said “I want YOU to intern at MSI.” I was kind of shocked, given the fact that Tony knew I wanted to go into event management. Nevertheless, I interviewed and (obviously) got the internship. And I can honestly say (don’t tell Tony, it fluffs his ego) that I have enjoyed every minute of this internship. Working with everyone here has been phenomenal, I’ve learned a new field, and I’ve had to the opportunity to work with one of the greatest bosses I have ever had. I learned so much about myself, how to engage and empower members of my organization, and how to effectively search and find candidates. I also had the opportunity to talk to Kristen Schroeder, who provided me insight and advice into working with and leading people, something I did not think I would get from this internship. I have been able to experience all of this because I pursued and accepted an opportunity that was unknown to me prior to Tony.
In conclusion, this semester has been a phenomenal experience, one that I won’t forget. It has also reinforced in me the idea of taking advantage of opportunities and experiences when you can, because you never know what you will get out of it. You may learn a new skill, such as searching for candidates, or find your place, as I found mine at PSE, or learn what you don’t want to do again, such as jumping out of a plane. But you WILL learn something, and isn’t that what life is all about? Living and learning. I encourage you to take advantage of the next opportunity that comes your way. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
PS: I haven’t put my name on any of my blogs so far, which include “Effective Communication: Easier Said than Done” and “Measure Twice, Hire Once”, but I figured I would put it on the last blog. Thank you to everyone who has read and commented on my blogs! I appreciate it, as this is a new experience to me (another one!). Thank you again, and hopefully this isn’t my last blog.
The Silent Intern,