Something to Prove
In the wise words of my favorite artist Drake, “I’m always going to work like I have something to prove.” I believe that everyone should strive to great things in whatever it is they do. The concept is simple: if you work hard, good things will come. That is just one part of being successful. The other part is about finding your passion and making sure that your heart is in whatever you are doing. While it is true that you are more likely to work hard if you are doing something that you love, life is not always going to be so easy. Sometimes you have to push through the difficult things in order to do what you love. It is also important to remember that everyone’s definition of success is different. For one person success could be measured by the amount of money he/she has. For someone else it could be having a large family, happiness, etc. The combination of what makes someone view themselves as successful will differ for each individual.
At this point in time I measure my own success in steps that further my education as I am still learning as a student as well as an aspiring business woman. In part one of my blog series about my internships, I mentioned that I am not a natural born scientist or mathematician. Although these college courses were not necessarily my favorite, I put in the hard work to advance in my academic career and this has allowed me to study something that matters to me: Business Marketing. Same goes for interning, of course there are some tasks that I like more than others, but I know that in the end, all of the things I am doing will help me long term. This scenario varies for everyone. If you are an aspiring basketball player, do not quit if you get exhausted; instead, practice every day and you will eventually reach your goal. Anything is possible when you put your mind to it. What I mean by all of this is that if you work hard in everything that you do, regardless of whether you just like it or love it you will eventually be successful and happy in the bigger picture.
“Someone out there is always working harder than you are.” I honestly don’t remember the first time I heard this, but I think it is one of the most motivating expressions out there for people who love a little competition. Whenever you’re feeling exhausted or not motivated, try to keep this idea in the back of your head. Approach everything like someone out there is working harder than you are. If this does not work for you, I challenge you to discover what motivates you. What gets you out of bed in the morning? Is it family? Friends? Wealth? Recognition? All of the above? Knowing what motivates you and how to use that to find your edge is half the battle.
I find motivation in my family, friends and the vision of the future that I have for myself – I see a lot of potential. This is what gets me out of bed in the morning. With only two short months here at Polycom, I plan on taking advantage of every opportunity that comes my way in whatever area of business it may be. Keeping these motivators in mind and working hard I hope to reach my goals: build a reputation, network, and -most importantly- gain experience.
Work Like Everyone’s Watching
This brings me to my next point about building reputation: people are always watching and assessing you. If there one thing that I have learned by being a member of Greek life it is that people are always watching you. A common phrase among the Green community is that members are always “wearing your letters.” This means that you should always be mindful that you are always representing yourself and the organizations that you associate with, whether you’re wearing branded apparel or not. Your actions and the way you present yourself to the world around you speak to the kind of person you are. If you think that the way you present yourself through your appearance, demeanor and work are not being noticed by others—you are wrong. Personal branding is very important and is always taking place. After all, you are your own biggest advocate. To my original point, others will notice hard work when they see it and will talk to other people about your work ethic. So, work like everyone is watching.
Networking is Crucial
Networking is crucial. Never write anyone off. Make connections early on in your career and show off your hard work. You never know who will be able to help you in your career later on. The people that you meet and work with along the way should be able to speak to others about your work ethic, skills, etc. Learning to work with people and get yourself out there is arguably one of the most important skills in life. Greek life has helped me become more confident in myself, advocate for myself when need be, and make connections that I will have for the rest of my life. The networking skills I have picked up along the way have helped me significantly at Polycom to network with people from all areas of the business. No- you do not have to be in Greek life or have an internship to network. Your network can be made of anyone that you meet in your field of interest. A great resource which many people know about but do not actively use is LinkedIn’s professional business network. Wherever and whoever you chose to network with can be beneficial. Networking not only helps when you need a recommendation, but also can lead to friendships that are totally unexpected. So, never be afraid to cast a wide net when it comes to meeting new people.
Knowledge is Power
Lastly, gain experience wherever possible. Knowledge is power. Interning at Polycom has allowed me to work on a multitude of projects across business functions. For example, this summer I am working with corporate communications, internal communications, sales enablement, customer marketing, public relations, the social media team, and the executive experience center team. Wherever you wish to succeed, be sure to grasp every opportunity. Get involved. I am honored to have found the motivators that have helped me be successful thus far as I continue my education both in work and college. It is never too late to discover or rediscover things that motivate you to be at your best and reach for your goals.
Hope you enjoyed a little motivation and some details of my internship thus far. I hope you’re as inspired as I am to work hard for others, for your future and for YOURSELF. Part Three of the Intern Series will be coming soon so stay tuned!