Just Keep Swimming: An Internship Reflection

One year went by and I was still struggling to find an internship. The quest to land a professional opportunity in the communications field as an international student tested my nerves and shook my confidence deeply. Up to this point, leaving my home, entering a shark cage without knowing how to swim, and jumping out of a plane had been easier endeavors compared to navigating the job search in the U.S. Little did I know that this part of the process was just another reminder to persevere and continue believing in myself.

My intentional approach to pursuing companies that aligned with my values led me to Avid Core, a place that embraced my background and perspective. Here, I was not only given a chance to practice my skills but the freedom and support to explore new ones while regaining certainty in my strengths with every project I participated in. Getting my internship extended for a second term was one of the most assuring moments of my academic journey; I discovered that listening actively, researching eagerly, and collaborating enthusiastically could really benefit the team.

Members of a work team sitting around a table in a restaurant sharing drinks and wearing Christmas-themed headbands.
Members of the Avid Core team celebrate at The Wharf (December 2023).

Looking back at this experience, I’m thankful to have supported communications, public outreach, social media, and marketing solutions for a variety of local, regional, state, and federal clients while learning valuable lessons from a committed group of individuals. Whether it was crafting written and audiovisual content for community planning, manufacturing consulting, or period-positive messaging, the premise of considering the voices involved and keeping your audience at the center of an open and accessible conversation, remained.

Naturally in this learning process, there were moments in which approaching a new assignment or tool proved challenging to me and I was hard on myself for not delivering things fast or accurately enough — (hello, anxiety, my old friend).

Like most new interns, I would put myself under a lot of pressure and had to fight my perfectionist tendencies constantly. However, as I engaged with the team in virtual and fun in-person events, I felt comfortable enough to ask more questions and seek support to navigate multiple learning curves. Those clueless moments led me to experimentation, creative problem-solving, and brainstorming with supervisors who kindly reminded me that my capabilities were not limited by my tenure or position and that my ideas were valued and heard.

As this adventure comes to an end and I prepare to graduate soon, I see with gratitude how my time at Avid Core has helped me feel better equipped to step into the next chapter of my life trusting my ability to learn and adapt to diverse environments (while also expressing myself through gifs on Slack).

If you come across this blog and ever feel the self-doubt creeping in, remember there was once a girl from a small town in South America who managed to “catch” a job in an ocean of uncertainty, without knowing how to swim.