Trying something new is always difficult for me. I get terrible butterflies in my stomach and it’s not fun. So when my mom first sent me the application for Operation Hope, a program where they take the best kids in Colorado and set them up with an internship, I was on the rocks. I’m a sixteen-year-old girl going into her junior year, I’ve never interned anywhere before and I’m not used to being around adults for long periods of time.
In the end, I went through with it and signed up. After a long and drawn out application process, I was accepted to be an intern. I put on a face of excitement, but deep down the news brought anxiety and stress. Questions kept running through my head.
What if I did something stupid?
What if I said the wrong thing?
What if I came off as annoying?
What if no one likes me?
These were the thoughts occupying my mind on the drive to Zenman on my very first day. Sitting in the waiting area made it even worse because then I was in a strange place, waiting for things to take a turn for the worse. I was sure this wasn’t going to be a good experience. However, as soon as I met with everyone in the office, my negative thoughts and fears melted away.
Everyone I worked with or even just waved at was -and is- so nice and genuine. No one has even remotely seemed like they were bothered by me or that they didn’t want to get to know me. This proved a lot of my nervous thinking wrong. Everyone on the team was just so welcoming – I couldn’t believe they actually wanted to know things about me. I think that’s pretty cool. Perhaps it could’ve taken a turn for the worse at some point, but it didn’t and I’m glad everyone actually liked me.
Before I came in, I went to the Zenman website and looked at everyone’s picture and Caitlyn’s was the most intimidating. Maybe it was because she was the CEO or the picture itself, but I was terrified to meet her. After doing so though, I learned very quickly that she is hysterical. Her sense of humor is so natural, it’s amazing and it was always really funny explaining to her how high school worked since she was homeschooled. She was nothing like I expected, and I mean that in a good way.
Alexia, the project manager at Zenman, was very nice and was the first person I met here. She was very helpful in showing me around and helping me do what I had to. When waiting for the bus, we talked about a lot of random topics which was really cool -I learned a lot. I can’t have random conversations with everyone, so it was neat to meet somebody like that in a professional setting.
DJ was another person whose company I enjoyed. He always seemed genuinely happy to see me whenever I came into the office. He just beamed positivity and he said my romper was sassy, so that’s cool too. I had fun with most of the staff actually. Melissa was so funny and always knew how to pull good jokes. Her attitude is just the best and she’s always willing to help me out on the website we made. I’m surprised she didn’t get annoyed with me because I asked a lot of questions. Corinne was really nice and sweet, we also had good conversations at the bus stop. It seems like she has a sense of humor similar to mine, which I don’t find every day. Thomas, Easton and I listened Taylor Swift on our way to a Lunch and Learn, which was a definite 10 out of 10 because not a lot of boys would listen to Taylor Swift, so props to them.
Even though I didn’t really work with anyone else, they were all still amazing people. When I made cupcakes for everyone, they made me a thank you card which was so nice and there were so many Taylor Swift references on it. I appreciate that they appreciate my love for Taylor Swift – especially Caitlyn. They’re so…I keep saying nice, but that’s what they were. The whole time, they were the best people to be around and I loved that they really enjoyed me being around.
Now to what I learned. I learned to be jiffy (Jiffy is a term Alexia uses, which means someone who gets stuff done with ambition and grit) and that the best way to go through life is to be on top of everything. I don’t know what the opposite of jiffy is, but don’t be that. I also learned that there are a lot of steps to making a website. You’d think it’d take a couple weeks, but it can take up to several months and that includes: meeting with the client to know what they want, making a prototype, meeting with the client again to make sure you’re going in the right direction, getting a logo, color scheme and the content, meeting with them again, changing some things, meeting them again. If you can’t tell, they have a lot of meetings here. I’ve even sat in on a few of them.
I also got to see how the actual building of a website works.
- I learned how to make one in a span of two weeks. Melissa even taught me some things about coding along the way.
- I learned that looking for orthodontics and dental offices with non-responsive websites takes a while.
- I also learned that working around dogs can be very distracting, but it’s okay when you’ve been sitting and looking at computer screens all day.
As you can see, I learned so much here. Not just by-the-book stuff, but actual fun stuff too. Isn’t that the best type of learning anyways?
At the end of the day, I’m really going to miss it here when I leave. Of course, I’ll probably drop in to say hi every now and then, but it won’t be the same. I would stay, but school is starting soon and “technically” I have to be there. Rules – no one likes them. I consider everyone here a friend and it’s going to be weird not coming in all the time. I’ll really miss the dogs too, especially Spencer even though he runs away every time you try to touch him. I loved it here and if I got a chance to do it all again, I definitely would.