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You deserve it!

| Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The first week back from any kind of break is always a fairly unpleasant process. For me, as a junior, this year’s return to academics was particularly tragic, combined with something a friend of mine recently called, “the hell that is recruiting.” I’m trying to find a job.

More accurately, I’m trying to find a summer internship. Regardless, it’s requiring a painful amount of time and dedication. My Instagramming days are of the past; I am now LinkedIn-ing! 

Anna Mason | The Observer
Students mill around the career fair, where many go to search for summer internships and post-grad jobs.

But despite how much this search seems to have occupied my life, I noticed that I hadn’t actually applied to as many positions as I had thought. Part of this is likely due to the unfortunate amount of time these individual applications take. And, I care about my applications. I want to tailor them appropriately. As a design major, it’s important that my portfolio reflects that, so that takes up a considerable chunk of time, too.

Most of all, however, I noticed my own self-doubt. I’d get excited about how great of an opportunity something is, before feeling almost apologetic to apply. “I don’t have enough experience.” “What could I possibly give to this company that hundreds of other people can’t?”

I largely attribute these thoughts to the fact I’m applying for positions different from my major. I’m applying for UI/UX Design roles to create digital experiences and products, but my Industrial Design education focuses on physical products.

For digital product design roles, different skills and projects are required. So I’ve undertaken digital projects independently and educate myself separately. I’ve added a second major in Sociology and a minor in Digital Marketing to better understand the needs of people and uses of digital platforms. Yet, I see my shortcomings more than my efforts, and I believe that the rest of the world will, too. 

The Imposter Syndrome is something that I don’t think I’ve really understood until recently. I definitely never saw myself as having it. I’d only attribute it to people who have acquired amazing accomplishments in their lives, too tremendous to take credit for. Being a normal person, I just thought I was insecure. 

But I think that, too, is the essence of the Imposter Syndrome, thinking that I haven’t ever accomplished anything, so there can’t be anything I’d even take credit for. Yet, we’ve all accomplished things, and even the smallest of our goals and efforts are to be applauded and taken credit for — at least by ourselves, if not others. If I don’t even believe in myself, who will? 

So for anyone else facing this struggle this spring recruiting season, I want you to hear that I believe in you. True, I don’t know what you’ve achieved, but I know you’ve accomplished more than you think you have. Most importantly, I hope you can be your best advocate. You deserve to strive for as many opportunities you want, and your worth will be recognized by the right people at the right time for you. We can do this!

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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