To begin, I think I have to say that looking back on last summer to now, this semester has been by far the most growing, changing, developing semester I’ve ever had. If you were to take me back to last May and tell me that before Christmas I would have a third back surgery, go back to school, then accept a summer internship, I would tell you that you were CRAZY!! I used to believe that “big” things in your life only happen once in a blue moon, but wow was I wrong! I can confidently say that the past semester has taught me SO MUCH about myself, the people around me, and my future and I am so excited to continue on! So far, I would say my 20’s are off to the absolute best start!
I believe in every way that the Lord has taken me over the past semester and shown me what life is like close to Him, and how if you trust Him and live by His word, He will bless you in so many abundant and undeserving ways. Of course, it’s not a situation of “be nice and be blessed with a perfect life” because Earth will never be perfect and my life will never be perfect, but I do know that living in a Christ-following way has allowed me to see the truth in his grace and how sweet it is to live by a God that heals me and guides me towards things that allow me to be the best person I can be!
This semester started by having a major back surgery and looking back on just three short months ago, I know that I had so many different options to choose when it came to moving forward. I could have easily chosen to take the semester off from school and work completely and rest my body and mind and be very low key, I could have taken just a class or two and worked some and slowly moved on, but honestly, without even thinking, I took over a full schedule of classes, went back to work exactly one month later, and have accomplished more this semester than I have in the past! I think that there is such a mental decision to make with yourself when it comes to a new chapter (semester) and when it comes to moving on from something that knocked you down completely. I can wholeheartedly say that choosing to carry on at full speed proved to me that I am stronger than I would have ever believed and that with strength, confidence, and God, I can truly do and accomplish anything.
The most exciting part about this fall semester by far has been accepting a Fashion Retailing Internship for the summer of 2019 in Martha’s Vineyard, MA!! I absolutely cannot wait to live on the island of MV from May until school begins in August doing the thing I love most to do!! In October of this past year, I visited Martha’s Vineyard and loved it, and knew dating back to August that I wanted to move away for the summer and do an internship.
For me, and internship has been something that I have thought about literally 24/7 for over the past entire year. In the Fashion Retailing industry and degree program, doing an internship is extremely important for experience and future employment. From the start, my dream was always to intern in New York City! NYC is my favorite place ever and I thought that I would be happiest interning and living in NYC for an entire summer!! As I started searching through fashion internships, I realized that there are SO MANY and I was by far not the most qualified candidate for so many positions. However, I can 100% confidently say that being employed at The Golden Hanger since I was 17 is the #1 thing that helped me achieve the position and even feel confident enough to apply for internships! I am so glad that I have 2+ years of experience in Fashion Retailing being a sales associate and attending buying trips, because I knew my experience was exactly in line with the qualifications and requirements for the internship I applied for in Martha’s Vineyard. As I got deeper into the internship search, I had to become brutally honest with myself, because rent is real! Some internships are not paid at all but quite a bit are, but intern pay is nowhere close to affording your own rent in a place like New York City. I knew that I wouldn’t be responsible for all expenses and would have help from my family, but working the past 2+ years and moving to a new place also means to me learning to pay what I can of my own expenses and learn how the real world works! New York City is of course one of the most if not the most expensive place in America to live, and I decided for what it was worth, I would rather live comfortably than be scraping pennies, which meant expanding my geography!
When I began researching life in other places (still in the Northeast USA because I especially love that region), I knew I loved the idea of living on Martha’s Vineyard! I truly think that God placed this internship in my life for a specific reason, one I may not know just yet, but on purpose for sure, because the first internship I found was an internship that required all of the duties I was comfortable with already and experienced enough to accomplish, matched perfectly with my summer dates, and I had a month left to apply!
The application process was not too overwhelming, but I knew I had a lot of preparing to do! The first thing I knew I needed to get together was a resume, and I didn’t have a college resume built at the time. I wanted my resume to be perfectly professional, so I made an appointment at The University of Alabama’s Career Center, where professionals are available by appointment to help students for all of their professional needs. Before going in, I came up with a rough-draft resume so that the appointment would be organized and not take several hours. I sat down with a lady and for an hour, explained to her everything I had to put on my resume from my job to scholarships and awards to extracurricular activities, what I was applying for, why I wanted the internship, and how comfortable I was with the process, and she step-by-step helped me come up with a second rough-draft resume and cover letter. I highly recommend the Career Center to every UA student because it is completely free and helpful beyond words!
After the appointment, I spent a weekend using a free book guide my mentor had given me and perfecting my resume to the best of my ability, and writing the most professional, personal, and strong cover letter that I could geared towards this internship. I think it is so important to not rush an application process, because you have several chances to re-read your work and look for errors, and time to think of more creative wording and anything you may have forgotten to add. Once I got my resume and cover letter together how I wanted, I completed the other portions of the application online. For my application specifically, there were sections including all of my educational history, hobbies and interests, travel experience, links to my LinkedIn profile, blog, and social media accounts, and a portion for me to type a welcome letter as well.
Altogether, I probably spent two whole weeks taking my time and perfecting my application to the best of my ability, and I think it was the perfect amount of time for me to completely evaluate myself professionally and feel the most confident that I could when I submitted my application. Luckily, within 48 hours of submitting my application, I heard back from the company that I had been chosen to receive a phone-call interview opportunity! I formally accepted the invitation by email, and scheduled the interview for the following week.
Before this, I had never done a phone interview! I made sure to schedule the interview for an hour time period that I knew I would be at home and have no distractions going on at all. However, as things don’t always work out perfectly, some unforeseen circumstances pushed back my interview and I was actually in public at the time of the interview, but I took it with confidence and no worries! The phone interview went great, and it was a lot easier than I thought to begin with by far. The thing that I took away most from this type of interview experience is to always remain calm, and be personal, because the person interviewing you is a human, too! There is no need to feel like you have to be a robot in an interview, because it’s your possible one chance to show your personality at all! The interview ended with an exchanged, “roll tide!”
A day later, I received an email that I, again, had another opportunity to have a second phone-call interview with another member of the company. I was so excited to receive this second interview, and scheduled it for a week and a half later. The second phone interview was even more fun and personal and went great!!
Around two to three days after my second phone call interview, I received an email that kindly offered me the internship position! I have never been more grateful to accept an opportunity in my life!! I am so excited that it is finally official that I will be interning for three Soft As A Grape retail stores on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, from May-mid August 2019! All visitors are welcome on MV <3
More to come about my exact position next summer!!!
Here’s a pic of my CURRENT MOOD … because I’m moving to MARTHA’s VINEYARD !! (pic in Martha’s Vineyard :) )