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Nannying, not NYC

Maddie Daly | Thursday, September 5, 2013

Even though we have been back in South Bend for just a week and a half, summer already feels months away. We are back in the rhythm of school, and summer now seems like a distant glimmer of the past. I would like to take a moment to remember Summer 2013 while I still can. Although I didn’t have a fabulous summer to brag about, simply put, I learned a lot about life.
I am now a junior at Notre Dame and still slightly reluctant to admit that I did not work for a top business firm in New York, nor did I travel to China for a six-week program. My resume received no additional padding. However, my bank account and modesty sure did. I spent nearly every waking minute of the summer working two jobs with only one week off.
Specifically, I assumed the role of nanny for three children in the suburbs of Chicago, carting them to tutoring, swim lessons, gymnastics and birthday parties while suffering through their antics and tears. No matter how pointless this all sounds, I feel like I gained as much world experience by playing mom for three long months as I would have in an office cubicle. More importantly, I realized a lot more about how much respect we should all have for our mothers. Shout out to you, Mom.
In my very little amounts of spare time, I worked as a sales associate at a store called Anthropologie in Oakbrook Mall in the western suburbs of Chicago. It’s an overpriced, girly store with a hippie twist. My hours were spent ringing up thousand dollar purchases and aiding helpless boyfriends shop for their lucky girlfriends.
Nothing about my summer would seem to impress future employers all that much or make me stand out right away. Most obviously, now that we’re back, nothing about my summer impresses most of the students here at Notre Dame. However, I know I gained invaluable life skills by working near-menial jobs. The amount of patience and people skills I gained this summer from working a lowly retail job will take me far.
 I realize that, to some, this would be a waste of a summer, reflecting poorly on my degree of motivation and my plans for the future. But to me, although it would have been nice to have landed an impressive internship in a big city, I refuse to look back on the summer with regret. I gained a type of real-life work experience and had no ego boost to accompany it, keeping me modest and thankful for the opportunities I had to work two fairly simple jobs.
Sometimes at our overachieving school we can get distracted by the competition to get the best job and then tell everyone about it. In fact, I think I deserve the right to add this fancy, impressive title to my resume right now: “Elite intern in child services with an associate position at an upscale women’s fashion company.” If that doesn’t say “hire me,” I don’t know what does.