When You’re Interning, There’s A Three-Word Solution To Getting Hired

I have seen so many interns crash and burn when it comes time to hire for a permanent spot because they didn’t heed this advice. They’re nice only to the people they think can help them get a leg up, and when the people they previously gave ’tude to turn out to be the hiring managers, it bites ’em in the ass. Just be nice. And do the shit!

Thought Catalog

I interned for 21 months with the company that would eventually hire me. It was a three-month opportunity that was repeatedly extended until headcount was finally approved almost two years later. I learned a lot during that time, including what was necessary to get hired – but I didn’t think this article would need to be written. I believed that today’s college and post-college kids have enough wisdom and ambition to figure it out on their own. Or at least I used to, until I was invited to speak to a group of students from my college who were preparing to graduate and looking for internships, and one of them (a PR major) gave me this mindblower:

“I’m sort of working an internship right now, like, ish. But I really need to find a new one. They keep asking me to do stupid stuff like make spreadsheets and run errands…

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“Normal Day” by Mary Jean Irion

farmher woman hay bale Marji Guyler-Alaniz

Normal day, let me be aware
of the treasure that you are.
Let me learn from you, love you,
bless you before we depart.
Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may,
for it may not be always so. One day
I shall dig my nails into the earth,
or bury my face in the pillow,
or stretch myself taut,
or raise my hands
to the sky and want, more
than all the world, your return.

(Farmher photo by Marji Guyler-Alaniz)

The 7 Questions That Tell You Who You Are

Now that’s a list of questions tailor-made for deeply introspective types! I may have to use some of them as journal prompts.

Thought Catalog

Many of the answers we’re seeking are answers we already have. We just don’t know how to access them. Understanding who you are isn’t something you stumble upon one day. It’s embedded within you; you just have to be vulnerable long enough to uncover it. Your everyday actions are shouting what you may not be conscious of.

1. What would you do with your life if you didn’t have to pay the bills? If money weren’t an issue, what would you do with your days? Would you write? Read? Sing? Whatever it is, you have to do that thing. Money is an interesting phenomenon that completely controls our everyday lives without having any purpose other than sustainability in the form of purchasing from others what we could produce and create right in our own backyards. Consider that when you’re deciding between a soulless job that will make you rich versus…

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50 Summer Activities We’re Nostalgic For

Come summer I still think of my San Joaquin Valley hometown and the slap-slap of rotor sprinklers watering the front lawn; the clean, cold taste of valley water fresh from the hose (William Saroyan–style); the loamy scent emanating from almond orchards being irrigated at night; the mellow sounds of crickets and frogs seemingly lethargic from the heat. Escaping to the coolness and old-book-smell of the library for the weekly stock-up of summer-vacation reads. Hearing a distant train whistle punctuate an otherwise silent night studded with stars.

Flavorwire

Summer is finally here, and although we are excited (unlike some people), the season just doesn’t feel like it used to. Gone are the times when we could unabashedly run through the fountain at the local town center. Flying down the Slip ‘n Slide guilt- and injury-free without the context or liquid courage provided by alcohol? Not an option. However, we can be nostalgic for those times. So here is a long list of just about all the summer activities we wish we could be doing right now instead of being cooped up in the office. Join us on our trip and receive what Don Draper would call, “…the pain from an old wound. A twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.”

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The Difference Between Alone And Lonely

One of the reasons I like the Facebook fanpage Social Introverts (recommended by Quiet author Susan Cain) is that it introduces me to thoughtful reads like this. To me, “lonely” is also feeling that people don’t really get the sometime need to be “alone.” || HuffPo just published Michele Willens’s piece called “Alone Need Not Mean Lonely,” which you may also be able to relate to: “I always say that if you like to read, and are interested in other people—especially those who haven’t heard all your stories or whose stories you haven’t heard countless times—you can never be bored … I would argue that those who are secure in their own lives, and not actively seeking companionship, find this more doable.”

Thought Catalog

Alone is calm. It’s being somewhere with nothing other than your own thoughts, able to hear the things that you often intentionally block out with meaningless conversations and loud music and well-attended parties. Alone is listening to the things you have to say to yourself, giving time to the more important reflections that you often allow to settle in the back of your mind like a fine dust swept under a rug.

Lonely is talking to yourself to the point that you are sick of your own voice inside your head, the nails-on-a-chalkboard sound of your own echo chamber — your thoughts and your thoughts alone, reaffirming themselves over and over until almost nothing has any meaning left. It is wanting a sounding board for all of the things you’ve discovered on your own, the things you want to confirm with the comforting reality of hearing another human being speak…

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Rembrandt_Christ_in_the_Storm_on_the_Lake_of_Galilee

First thought: Wasn’t Rembrandt’s Storm on the Sea of Galilee one of the paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in a theft attributed to Myles J. Connor Jr.? (I read The Art of the Heist not too long ago, and remember it being described as one of the few landscape-type paintings that Rembrandt did.)
My second thought, though, is that I actually love to step inside art museums for the same reason I like to go hiking on my own or browse in a bookstore or library with no other particular where to be. It lets me learn, takes me to a world outside of my own, and gives me space to ponder (which, with me being an introvert, are all things I love). In fact, I myself am looking forward to checking out the Rembrandt’s Century exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco…after the crowds there for Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring subside somewhat.

Ordinary Time

Two weekends ago, two of my girlfriends and I visited the newest exhibit at the Frist Center for Visual Arts: Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age.  It was interesting to see the influence of Protestantism on art after the Netherlands broke from Catholic Spain, and while still life isn’t my favorite, there were lots of other pieces I really enjoyed.

The first pieces were Rembrandts, and they were my favorite.  I especially liked his Visitation, which I had never seen before.

Rembrandt_van_Rijn_190

It also included one of his portraits of Christ (of which there are many).  Not his most famous one, but a very nice one.

Attributed_to_Rembrandt_Christ_30.370-S1-376x450

Two of my favorite Rembrandts that weren’t in the exhibit were his Storm on the Lake of Galilee and his Return of the Prodigal Son.

The way the Frist is laid out, it’s easy to find yourself in a completely different exhibit while in the…

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The feel of home

The small, rural San Joaquin Valley town where I grew up is not a place that garners much national press, at least as far as travel goes. Oh, there’s an article in Saveur here, or a few blurbs in AAA’s Via magazine there—even a one-off “36 Hours in Fresno” in The New York Times—but the Central Valley is not SoCal or the Bay Area. It can be a tough sell to a travel editor who doesn’t see many people making the trip out there, and to see what?

The Empty Cup by Miche Watkins. It reminds me of
an old truck-stop diner that was razed to make way
for the new highway near where I grew up.

Still, I never fathomed how much I’d internalized the idea of the valley not “counting,” sights-wise, until I started to see images that validated my own experience of growing up there. Even travel stories in respected publications don’t peg what it was like on balmy summer evenings when my dad would pile all of us neighborhood kids into the back of his Datsun pickup and take us for rides in the country. We’d be talking and laughing, wind in our faces, the smell of damp earth rising up from the irrigated orchards, crickets and cicadas chirping incessantly, moonlight glowing down. Or how it was to grab our bikes and go for a ride along bumpy country avenues that sloped past vineyards at sunset, pedaling madly whenever a dog would come tearing out of a dirt road, yapping and nipping our heels. 

Travel articles don’t capture the familiar chitchat of longtime parishioners milling around after church services, or Rotary Club or Knights of Columbus pancake breakfasts where everybody knows your name, or how it feels to lie on the grass in summer, reading a book in the shade as a lone plane drones overhead. My hometown was a great place to grow up, even if, by the time I got to high school, I was restless to leave. I wanted to spread my wings, see the world, experience the cultural riches of the big city.

My story is not unique. For years after moving away, first to L.A. for undergrad, then to Eastern Europe with the Peace Corps, then to the Bay Area for work, I’d return to my childhood home only to feel stifled by the memory of who I was. It was as if the ways in which I subsequently strove to define myself would melt away, leaving only what I felt like when I’d left: a gauche, dorky teenager who never quite fit in. But then I realized: Thomas Wolfe may have said, “You can’t go home again,” but you can, actually. You just have to redefine the experience.

There’s the Knight’s Ferry Bridge in California’s Stanislaus County, for instance. Built in 1862–1863, the covered timber truss bridge was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior this past October. I spent the first 18 years of my life just over the border from that county and never knew this bridge existed—and now it’s protected by the National Park Service? Cool. Who knew there was a piece of the storied covered bridges in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County right in my old backyard, or practically? Well, obviously the NPS did, ha. But that’s what I mean: I grew up there and yet there’s more to discover. I love that. I love the idea of being able to approach something I thought I knew with a fresh perspective. I’d like to take all the good of a place and weave it into my personal narrative, without the baggage of my prior notions limiting how I perceive it.

let's get lost

Shaun Sundholm, Untitled (Let’s Get Lost). It reminds me of
the river roads winding through the countryside where I grew up,
and of the canyons where I live now.

(from top, first, third, and last images via the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Tumblr, the National Park Service, and 20×200; middle photo by Ivan Sohrakoff)