I Belong Here: Starting My Dream Internship and FORMing Confidence

  • Categories:

    Agency Life, Inspiration

  • Date:

    June 8, 2022

I Belong Here: Starting My Dream Internship and FORMing Confidence

Agency Life Inspiration

In December 2021, I was gearing up for my second-to-last semester at Virginia Tech while eagerly anticipating the opening of Wray Ward’s FORM internship application period. As graduation approached at full speed, I started to consider where I might land for my last summer of college before finishing a degree in public relations at the end of 2022.

Wray Ward and the Queen City made the top of the list.

In the spirit of keeping an open mind, day after day, I searched the internet for summer internship opportunities. Somehow, I always ended up back on the FORM website. The potential connections, real-world experience and fun culture hooked me, so I marked the application deadline on my Google calendar and went to work on my resume and cover letter.

To be honest, I was not confident that I would even land an interview. FORM looks for the best of the best across the nation, and I excluded myself from that group even though I had impressive accolades and experience. Nevertheless, I took a leap of faith and applied.

Six months later, I am writing a blog post reflecting on my first week as a FORM intern at Wray Ward. Mind. Blown.

Imposter syndrome, as defined by Healthline, refers to feelings of “self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience and accomplishments.” I have fallen victim to imposter syndrome plenty of times. I often lack the confidence to say, “I deserve this opportunity.” I struggle to give myself enough credit despite how much growth I have experienced throughout my college years.

This summer, I am flipping the script.

Starting My Dream Internship

As soon as I walked through the doors of Wray Ward’s stunning facility, I was overwhelmed by a sense of belonging. And, through Week One, I have been blown away by the authenticity and intentionality of every agency employee I have met. In just a few days, I have felt valued, celebrated and affirmed as a FORM intern.

I am confident Wray Ward is exactly where I am supposed to be this summer. With its culture-driven roots and strong family dynamic, there’s no question this is a special workplace, and I am honored to be a part of it. I cannot wait to see how this internship experience helps me grow professionally and personally over these next 10 weeks, as I work on real projects for real clients alongside eight other talented FORM interns.

FORMing Confidence

I know I am not immune to imposter syndrome, and I am not the only one impacted by these unwanted feelings. So, as a way to encourage myself and my teammates, I asked the 2022 FORM intern class to identify words and phrases they use as affirmations to overcome imposter syndrome, or any other workplace insecurities.

Abby Conrad, UX design intern: “You got this.”

Abby uses this phrase to remind herself of how far she has come. “I went from a school with practically no art program to being a design intern at a super cool place.”

America Fontenot, copywriting intern: “They wouldn’t have hired you if you weren’t right for the role.”

“I have to sometimes remember that the whole point of this internship is to not know everything,” America said. “I also like to remember all of the times I’ve started a job thinking I couldn’t learn it, only to watch that position become second nature.”

Brad Spencer, insights intern: “Just because you don’t know what you’re doing, doesn’t mean that you won’t figure out how to do it.”

Brad added, “[This quote] focuses on the idea that we often feel underqualified for situations, but this is part of the process.” He pointed out we are sometimes given difficult situations that we are uncomfortable in or find challenging because that is how we grow, both personally and professionally.

Chul Park, videography intern: “I can do it.”

Chul sees this phrase as a means to solve problems and move forward. “Whenever I face difficult situations — I keep telling myself I can do it.”

Jaye Rachel Johnson, photography intern: “The opportunities you have now were once a dream.”

“I love to reflect on how far I’ve come as a photographer and remind myself [of] how proud my younger self would be of my current self,” Jaye Rachel said. Jaye is motivated by opportunities sprouting in the field of photography and those currently provided by the FORM internship.

Lindsay Batten, project management intern: “Others believe in me, so I should too.”

“When I’m not feeling confident or self-assured, I remember that people who I respect and trust believed that I could,” said Lindsay. “The people who hired me believed that I was the best candidate for the job, so who am I to disagree or go against that?”

Nia Jolie Pinckney, digital media intern: “I am grateful for all that I have.”

Gratitude is something Nia truly values. “Even on my worst days or in tough moments, remembering the good things I have in my life encourages me to keep going and improving,” she said.

Travis Whitt, graphic design intern: “You are more.”

Travis uses this phrase to remind himself he is more than a designer or intern at Wray Ward. “When there are times I may feel as though I don’t belong, I know that I am more than [the] skill sets I have or education that may define me.”

Ask questions. Keep learning. Give yourself grace. These are all repeated sentiments at Wray Ward and, for that, I am extremely grateful. My affirmation phrase for the summer is, “I belong here.” I want to remain confident in the capabilities and experiences that have brought me to this point while embracing all of the change and growth that is yet to come.

Thank you, Wray Ward, for this incredible opportunity to transform into a stronger employee, student and friend. I cannot wait to make some magic happen this summer with this amazing team!

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