As a freshman, I thought that I was sentenced to scrubbing dishes in the dining hall for my next four years at Cedarville. I listened to upper-level Professional Writing and Information Design students talk about client projects and job offers from organizations. I knew that an internship would eventually come, but I had no idea where to start.
I made significant progress, yet I ended up back where I started. How is that possible? In the fall of 2000, when I stepped on the Cedarville University campus as a freshman for Getting Started weekend, my parents made me get my picture taken with the campus mascot, known as “the bee”, because I was too nervous and embarrassed. I was uncovering my interests and gaining my footing as a young, independent adult.
“Are you still interested in serving with Samaritan’s Purse? And are you willing to go to our office in Canada?” I had no idea Samaritan’s Purse even had an office in Canada and no clue what my position would be if I accepted the internship offer.
It was my sophomore year, and the first day of a class called Professional Portfolio Development. The professor informed us that we would be participating in mock interviews: first with our fellow classmates, then with some of PWID’s board members, both on the phone and in person. I was 17 years old. I had only ever worked online, aside from my job at a bakery. I felt about as inexperienced as one could be.
My editing internship at an economics office this summer required that I dabble in free market philosophy. I had been trying to read one meaty article, scratching through the pages with underlines and question marks and brief abstractions of the text. But what I found at the end of this scholarly essay was a line of music, of rhythm, timbre, pitch.
In that moment as I stood in front of my professor, I knew I was over-committing. He offered me the opportunity to work on a professional client project. This specific client was the nursing department at Cedarville University, and I would be creating a template for their quarterly newsletter.