I started a new internship yesterday. As it turns out, they have pretty fun privacy requirements, so for the sake of simplicity I'll just call it Way Over My Head, Inc. (WOMH).
Here's the thing: WOMH is a difficult place to get into and landing an internship there is a competetive, tough process. I say I'm in way over my head because there are 250 interns and they are from dozens of stellar universities from around the world, have accomplished amazing things, and probably all get better grades than I do. Don't get me wrong, I'm a level 7 narcissist (I know this thanks to the very accurate and definitely not full-of-crap assessment I took in my Organizational Behavior class). As such, I have no shortage of ego. However, it's intimidating to be surrounded by that much talent.
But here's the thing: I have now completed two days of my internship which have been filled with several hours of orientation seminars as well as a lot of time for all interns to network and get to know each other. All things considered, the interns had a combined total of about 3.5 hours throughout a nine hour day to get to know each other. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was energetic, friendly, and talkative. Whenever there was free time the room erupted in chatter and conversation. I am fortunate to be at WOMH for many, many reasons, but perhaps one of the most important is that I am surrounded by incredible peers.
I don't know if this should be attributed to personal flaws, the environments I place myself in, or another factor, but since grade school it's always been easier to diminish the value of hard things, of ambition, of success, and of working hard. It's all too common to participate in or hear conversations lamenting the difficulty of classes, work, applying for grad school, etc. etc. etc. The conversations at WOMH were the exact opposite. There was a room full of 250 twenty-somethings conversing unapologetically about their excitement for the rigor and difficulty of the next ten weeks, our short-term and long-term goals, and our ambitions, to name a few. It was incredible to be in an environment where I was comfortable to talk about big things without fear of being teased or called an over-achiever/teacher's pet/goody-goody/you name it. It's just a good environment to be in.
It was a really great experience to be surrounded by so many driven, ambitious, friendly people. I'm beyond excited for my summer at WOMH. Although, to be fair, I should say that every day since I got the offer I've been perpetually nervous that I won't be able to cope with the demands of the job. But I'm mostly just incredibly pumped to be there AND to get to work alongside so many talented people.