When I first started my position as a Digital Media Intern for the National Park Service (NPS) in June, I was curious to see how I would grow professionally and personally. I have learned different lessons from the various jobs and internships I have held since I was 15 years old. I can candidly say that through my internship with NPS, I have had the most professional and personal growth.
During the first three weeks of my internship, I was nervous. While I did have some digital media experience from academics and past opportunities, I only had ever used Apple and Google computers and software. Therefore, when I got my Dell computer with Microsoft software, I had to relearn basic commands in addition to my onboarding training. I am extremely grateful to be on an empathetic team that was incredibly patient and accommodating with me as I navigated through this period.
However, I was frustrated with myself. I did not think I was closing this knowledge gap quickly enough. I thought I was doing something wrong. I am a perfectionist, diligent, and thorough person, therefore, I thought immersing myself in tutorials would be enough; it was not. I felt guilty constantly asking my coworkers and supervisors for help with things I thought I should already know. I was the Digital Media Intern for crying out loud!
In hindsight, I now realize there was nothing wrong with leaning on my coworkers and asking them for help. It is not shameful to reach out to people for guidance and support. Asking others for help, even in my personal life, is difficult for me. I want to be the one with the expert advice, answers, and shoulder for others to lean on. From the early weeks of my internship to today, I have realized that leaning on others for support not only makes us human but also enhances the strength of all types of relationships.
I became a better version of myself professionally and personally by learning how to ask for help. And I am still learning, it is a lifelong process. I am now more confident and less anxiety-prone in the workplace and in my personal life. I have my time at the NPS to thank for this immense level of professional and personal growth. I look forward to continuing to further develop as a person during the rest of my fellowship.
Agency: National Park Service
Location: Washington Office Region 1