From KC Star to Advising Extraordinaire

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During the summer of my freshman year of college I planned to go back to my good ole’ hometown of Kansas City and work for the newspaper, the Kansas City Star. I felt fully confident that come summertime, I would roam the streets of downtown Kansas City walking to my summer internship with the Star. I met with a former editor months before, and my dad had a few connections to help. To me, I had the internship in the bag. I basically thought I was a networking goddess.

My dad played poker with the sports editor from the Kansas City Star and he told my dad just to send him my resume. I sent an email off with a resume and a whole lot of hope. A little over a week later, I opened a reply email from the editor.

I didn’t get it.

My body felt paralyzed. I couldn’t do anything but sit and think about my other options. I depended on this for so long. What did my future hold now? I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone because I basically bragged about already having it. When people asked me about the internship, I felt ashamed to tell what happened. My summer dreams of walking through that beautiful glass building everyday shattered with one email.

It was sad at first to think about not working for a newspaper this summer, but I realized that some things aren’t meant to be.  A few weeks later, I got an email from my academic advisor with general information for the summer, class information, deadlines, etc. But I also got information about a student advising assistant position for Summer Welcome‒the University of Missouri’s fancy name for freshman orientation. I thought about staying in Columbia for the summer, but didn’t know where I would stay or where I would work.

Applying for the position, I told myself that if I got it then I would stay at Mizzou this summer. I grew excited about this new opportunity. I loved being at Mizzou, even though it always came second to working at the Star.

A few days passed and I got an email about an interview. I felt ecstatic. I put on the best business-casual outfit in my closet and rocked that interview. The conversation flowed really well and I had good anecdotes for every question the interviewer threw at me. After speaking with the employer, I grew excited about this new opportunity and the people who would be my co-workers.

I didn’t know when I would hear back from them, so I played the waiting game. I stayed glued to my phone, constantly checking my email, waiting to hear back.

A week passed. I thought I didn’t get the job. Beginning to get antsy, I tried to put less pressure on myself. I didn’t want to repeat the job-loss depression I experienced after my rejection from KC Star.

The next day I woke up and checked my emails. Seeing numerous emails in my inbox really disturbs my OCD so I constantly clean out the unnecessary emails. Among my emails that morning, I saw an email from the employe. I got the job! I wore the biggest smile on my face and I couldn’t wait to tell my friends.

But then I panicked, wondering if this was the right choice. Was I supposed to be advising this summer? Should I have tried to find a new, more journalistic position? I wanted to be a journalist since the beginning of high school. I thought college was the time for me to work on my journalism experience, but instead I would work in an advising department.

Luckily, my fears subsided. In helping freshmen sign up for their first semester of college, I found that I really enjoyed making conversation with people who went through the same thing I did. As the summer progressed, my seven co-workers and I got to know each other better and better. I also networked with all of the advisors in the College of Arts and Sciences. They became both contacts and friends. I love seeing these people around campus now, and I wouldn’t have met them if I hadn’t considered this opportunity.

Sometimes bad things need to happen to make room for the better things. Being a summer advising assistant was the right choice for me at the time. I focused so hard on working for the Kansas City Star that I didn’t want to even consider other opportunities.

Now that the summer has come to a close, I’m so glad the KC Star fell through. I made more connections at my university. Plus, I discovered more of Columbia, Missouri, learned more about my school and enjoyed meeting new people every day. I got to constantly connect with new Mizzou students and create relationships with the advisors which I wouldn’t have been able to do in Kansas City.

Turns out that not getting your dream internship sometimes works out better in the long run.

I'm a sophomore majoring in Journalism at the University of Missouri. I survive on good coffee and broadway showtunes.

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