Take the Leap of Faith

When I first started my internship a little over 8 weeks ago, I remember feeling anxious, but ready. I was ready to take on the real world. I was ready to work hard and make a mark. I was ready to use my expertise to create a valuable experience, however, I was still anxious about the unknown. 

fakeittilyoumakeit-277x300Now, here I am. I only have a little over two weeks left at my internship and I still feel all the above. I feel well prepared for my next journey, but I still feel a little anxiety about what is going to happen next. I don’t only fear the unknown, but I also fear that I will fail at whatever I do next. According to Forbes.com, it’s human nature to fear failure and when we go outside of our comfort zone, we feel scared. However, there is one quote that keeps me going.

According to GenY Success, “the definition of courage isn’t about not being fearful, it’s about overcoming your fears.” Ever since I read that sentence for the first time, it dances around in my head at all times. It has inspired me to take a leap of faith  into the corporate world and take a risk on myself. Sure, I may not be the most qualified for the job, but I sure as hell will act like I am. Ever heard the phrase, “fake it ’til you make it?” I cannot tell you how many times I have been told, even from supervisors, this advice. And honestly, I do find it very true.

My point is, if you feel like you even have the slightest chance to get a job that seems out of your reach, don’t be afraid to go for it. And if you don’t know how to do something, learn it. Watch YouTube tutorials or read a book on it. Nothing should be able to stop you from being the most desirable candidate you can be. And if you don’t get that job, don’t let it discourage you from trying to get the next one. Take that leap of faith, it just might pay off.

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Balancing Work & the Holiday Season

I hope I am not alone when I say that just yesterday felt like the beginning of my internship and in the blink of an eye we’re suddenly halfway through November and quickly rolling into the holiday season and the end of our internships. For me that means earlier deadlines, hectic schedules and an increased workload. The holidays are already stressful enough for most people, but I sense that we are all especially strained because we have so little time left to make the most of our internships.tchcawn

As a native Portlander, my advice to you it to make time to enjoy the city while you’re still here. I may be biased, but I firmly belief that there is nothing quite like holidays in the PNW. While we may all have our sights narrowed on finishing our internships on a strong note, we should also take a break and cherish the opportunity we have been given to live in this one-of-a-kind city.

Here are some of my favorite Portland holiday traditions that you can enjoy during your last weeks in Portland!

  • Portland Christmas Tree Lighting: Forget Black Friday shopping- why fight crowds of people brawling over flatscreen TVs and iPhones when you could spend the day after Thanksgiving in downtown Portland to watch the annual lighting of the Christmas tree? Grab a warm drink and some friends and you’ve got yourself an experience that no door-buster prize can beat.
  • Peacock Lane: This tiny residential street in Southeast Portland is packed with people during December but for very good reason. Since the 1920s this quaint road has been known as one of the best places in the city to see christmas lights. Be forewarned: because of its popularity, traffic in the area is often a nightmare once the sun goes down. Check their calendar and go on a pedestrian-only night to save time and frustration!
  • Stumptown Santacon: Now I’ll admit that this one is a bit on the strange side but bear with me. I think we can all agree that Portland has a bit of a weird streak so it should come as no surprise that there is an annual event that brings together hundreds of people dressed up as Santa to enjoy a drink and celebrate the holiday season. Is it a Christmas bar crawl? Is it an excuse to dress up as Santa Claus in all his jolly goodness? Let’s just say it’s a little bit of both plus so much more.

More than anything, give yourself time to enjoy your last few weeks in this great city and take a break from workplace stress, even if that means donning a fake beard and gathering with a bunch of hipster Santas.

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Settling in to an office environment

I am not joking even a little bit when I say the hardest aspect thus far of my internship has been learning how to sit at a desk for a majority of the day. I am generally an active person, and always worked in active environments prior to starting my current internship. It’s a widely-known fact nowadays that sitting is one of the worst things for you, especially when it’s for multiple hours at a time. Trying to sit and produce work indoors for five to seven hours a day has been a difficult adjustment for me, and I found it useful to read over some of these tips to help my restlessness in the office:


Image courtesy of Orion Group

Get up and walk:

I’ve found it helpful to take breaks and get up to walk around every hour or two, depending on my work load. Not only does this take my eyes away from my computer for a short amount of time, but it allows my body to reset to get ready for the work in front of me. Sometimes this break may be walking to the office canteen for some water, others it may be walking to a nearby lunch spot.

Take the stairs:

Although in my building the stairs are a little trickier to navigate, I welcome the opportunity to walk up or down them when I have to go in between floors during my work day. This gives me a less stagnant break and gets me moving.

Get a workout in before or after work:

This one is crucial to my well-being. I’ve found that if I get up and get active before going to work I feel much less restless at my desk. I also find my mind is clearer and I’m able to focus on my work much more efficiently.

Snack well:

I’m not going to lie, snacking throughout the day helps me stay focused probably more than anything else. However, I’ve also found it’s important to snack on the right things to feel good, including nuts, fruit, veggies, etc.


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The Confessions Of An Intern

ed-arrowFor me, one of the biggest changes I encountered as I became a young professional in my field, was how different college life was to the life of an intern. Here are some of my most shocking discoveries I made during my transition from a college student to a young professional.

  1. Early Mornings – Do you remember that 8:00 AM class you had that one term that almost killed you? Well, as a professional you will have that class everyday. It also lasts eight+ hours, not two. I often get more accomplished between 6:00 and 10:00 AM than I did in an entire day in college. Having a “bed time,” as an intern is a real thing. Do yourself a favor and go to sleep at a reasonable hour.
  2. Public Transit – I was shocked, especially coming from a small town, how marvelous, odd, scary and important public transportation was. I’m not talking about the 5 minute 79x bus ride from Autzen to campus. I’m talking about the hour long, two transfer bus ride while a homeless man sleeps next to you in downtown Portland ride. As terrifying as it may be, it is the life-blood for interns as well as countless others. Be prepared for a culture shock after you leave Eugene.
  3. Expensive Housing – This is something I wish someone would have told me while I was contemplating becoming an intern in Portland. I looked for an apartment for several months in Portland before I found a semi-affordable studio. As an intern, your pay will be minimal to none. Do yourself a favor by saving up lots of money and start looking for housing very early. Many  apartments I contacted had over 100 people on the wait list to get in.

With there being so many articles out there that try to shed light on what your internship experience will be like inside the office. These tips shed light on your internship experience outside of the office. Although they may not be glamorous, they are true confessions from a current intern.

-Chris Ouverson

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Why Networking Face to Face Matters

Networking. One of our most dreaded processes in today’s world. Many of us can’t stand the sight of networking events, but why is networking difficult for so many? According to dictionary.com, the meaning of network is “an association of individuals having a common interest; formed to provide mutual assistance and helpful information.” People tend to believe face to face networking is only important for getting a job, or achieving something individually. Unfortunately, that is not how face to face networking works. It is never about using people to get to a specific goal you want, it is about building relationships.

At my internship, I realized the importance of networking. I went to lunch with one of my co-workers due to my interest in his career path; but, the main reason was his awesome personality. It had nothing to do with his previous success.  According to Business Insider, face to face networking is important, due to the power of personally connecting and human interaction. Why spend 4-5 months getting learning about someone via online, when you can meet them in person and get to know then in 15 minutes? business-lunch

Again it had NOTHING to do with what he was achieved in the past, but it had everything to do with who he is as a person. At the end of our conversation, he mentioned how he could connect me with people from organizations I am interested in. To be completely honest, I didn’t expect it all – not one bit.

If you want to network with people, you need to build relationships. If you want to have a job at an organization you are interested in, you need to build relationships. Once you are able to build those relationships, keep in touch and keep up with your network. You’ll be very surprised.

Kiarash Jalali


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Reflecting and Looking Forward

Two days ago, the United States of America’s election shocked the world. The ripple effects since have echoed across every corner, leaving millions feeling confused. In wake of recent events, it has not been any surprise to me to see people hugging and crying on the streets, at bars, or even at work.

Maneuvering the work space can be tricky when a major national event imposes uncertain changes in our realities. Will the economy and stocks plummet, making the job search more difficult than it perhaps already is? Will the decisions made in this election affect how nonprofits and philanthropies operate? As a woman, will I ever make more than 70 cents to a man’s dollar?


Sourced from: bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com

According to Wired, 90 percent of people who’ve reported emotional distress say that the toll of this election has been worse than any before. Uncertainty characterizes this period, and will continue to for an immeasurable time ahead.

The day after the election, I was an emotional mess and felt that I could not make it to work. Then, I thought of all of the women before me who got knocked down, but kept fighting for equal gender rights.

My strongest form of resistance could very well be my education and my career. So I worked that day, participated in a protest and attended a networking event titled, “Career Opportunities in Change Communications.” For years, I have pledged to contribute to the equality and justice movements both in my work and personal life. Recent events, despite the hardships of them, have opened doors to integrate social innovation in our networks and organizations.

While I was able to make the most of my day to feel better about progressing forward, I know this will be a daily struggle for a long time. If you are having a hard time in the wake of the election, give yourself the time and space to heal when you can. Bustle shares helpful tips on how to cope, including allowing yourself to cool off and reflect on what you’re grateful for.  Connect with your community, even your co-workers, and bask in the collective passion and support we can share. Choose to feel empowered by going to work. Inspire yourself with reminders of what builds your ambitions. Most of all, never forget that love always wins.

Claire Johnson

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Finding a Balance

For me, that meant…literally. Yoga twice a week after work has been my saving grace during the past couple weeks.

There is a common theme among many of the posts on this page. Words such as “stress,” “anxiety” and “pressure” are reoccurring keywords I often see as we blog about our internship experiences. People have shared a number of awesome tips for dealing with these issues at work. For me, a huge part of dealing with workplace stress has been finding a balance in my life as a whole – both in and outside of work.

Stress can manifest itself in many different ways. When I began my internship, I noticed a very physical reaction in my own response to stress at work – I would come home with back pain and tense shoulders from the way I carried stress and anxiety in my body during a long workday. What’s more, I would get off work and be so exhausted that I didn’t want to do anything but sleep. I have always been a very active person, and sitting at a desk all day made me really uncomfortable and unhappy.

After several weeks, I realized that I had two choices: continue to be restless and endure the physical side effects of work-related stress, or do something about it. I bought a two-month membership to a gym near my office and made a commitment to go every day. The results have been so noticeable: it gives me energy and puts me in a good mood after work and allows me to work out any physical tension in my body from sitting at a desk all day. I’m even sleeping better at night.o-yoga-health-benefits-facebook

This isn’t to say that everyone has to go to the gym every day after work, but it is my recommendation to go out of your way to do things that make you happy during the workweek. That could be walking your dog, making more time for friends or reading a book. We are all learning so much and growing as professionals through our internships- I think it’s important to make sure we’re learning about how to live a balanced life as we enter the professional world as well, both in and outside of the office.

Kenzie Yoshimura


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