#53 Nepotism, Value & Questions
This one about asking questions.
My professors admonished me to look for an internship during my second year at university and the unsystematic and frivolous child that I was, I turned to my sibling for help.
I felt like a VIP, bypassing the general queue, landing an internship in a media and entertainment firm. My sibling knew someone there and in the end, nepotism had prevailed. But that’s not the point of this story.
The manifestation of me being there, not because of my efforts but because of my relation, hit me hard. ‘Do I deserve this? Will I be able to prove myself? What if I don’t reach my intended potential?’ I wanted to build a dam but the thoughts kept flowing.
Alas, during my initial days, I was treated like any other intern and I heaved a sigh of relief going on the occasional coffee run. ‘If I am to get to a job that I didn’t put an effort for, it’s better I do as I am told.’ That was Plan A but I’ve never been someone to follow plans. Unsystematic and frivolous, remember?
So, after memorizing people’s coffee order to the T, I asked around if could deal with something more real and thought-provoking than the prestigious task of getting coffee for everyone.
“There’s a new podcast vertical that we’re starting.”
I hopped on immediately. For the first week, I was dead silent in the studio. The only thing I did was observe, comprehend and take notes. The routine had set in, I scribbled down anything and everything that existed and that could be improved.
On the 7th day, my supervisor inquired, “Harsh, you wanted to be a part of the vertical, right? We need someone more proactive.” While that was true, I didn’t want to be the loudmouth that got kicked off something because he couldn’t shut up about the ideas he had, so I decided to go for the other extreme. I opened my notes and showed it to her, “Ma’am, I’ve got a rundown of everything that can be implemented and that can be helpful. Can we try some of these out?”
Boy was she hesitant. But, since she had asked me for ideas, it would look bad to backdown now. So some of them were implemented. And those that were implemented made me part of the primary team of the vertical. I had ticked another box in proving my nepotistic entry into the organization.
I was editing podcasts, meeting new individuals, making and organizing visits to the studio. But that’s not my biggest gift from my time there. I now make music. That’s what I always wanted to do. And I’m now able to because of my time at the internship.
It really didn’t matter how I entered, as long as I proved my value there and took something from it. No one looks at where you’re born if you die having left a mark.
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