Intimidated to Succeed

I could easily string together a thousand different words to describe my first three weeks at work. To spare you all, I’ll will pick one. I pick the word intimidate.

In-tim-i-date: (v) to make timid or fearful, to compel or deter by or as if by threats

This word is often used when describing a negative experience. Truthfully, the feeling of intimidation I  encounter as I enter work each day is exactly what propels me to give my all. I am not intimidated by the way my supervisors act nor the way that they treat me. I am intimidated by their endless amount of knowledge and understanding of the world around them.

Before I began my internship I rarely kept up on the economy, environment, and education systems.

When I hear the reporters at my internship debate public Portland issues, as well as national and global, I am constantly in awe of their understanding of absolutely everything.

The daily life of a reporter is inconsistent. I have a lot of down time at my internship and I have promised myself that I won’t waste any second of it. It is extremely hard to fight the urge to scan Facebook or E! Online. I take every second of my free time to catch up on news, regardless of its relation to me.

I want to be able to answer questions and ask questions without hesitation. I may not be the next winner of Jeopardy, but I no longer want to be a news rookie.

“Knowledge is power.” – Sir Frances Bacon

Allyson Will


About Allyson Will

I am a currently a junior at the University of Oregon studying Journalism.
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11 Responses to Intimidated to Succeed

  1. I can completely relate to feeling somewhat out of the loop when people around me seem to have a complete understanding of just about every hot topic in the news. While I’m interested and try and keep up with my news, understanding the complexities of some public issues seems daunting at times. However, its great that you’re taking advantage of your extra time at your internship to soak up as much news and knowledge as possible.
    I’m sure soon you’ll be in those public issue debates at your internship! Good luck!

  2. I totally and completely relate to that feeling. Sometimes that feeling got so bad that I downloaded CNN and MSNBC apps to my phone so that I could check them every morning. In addition to that, I opted for PUSH notifications so that I’d be alerted when something big happened somewhere on the globe. Aside from being kinda nerdy, downloading those app’s really helped me keep up with and understand current events. Never hurts- especially because they’re free.

    Maybe find a current event that you find interesting and strike up a conversation with your supervisor or a coworker; might ease the intimidation factor a bit. I’m sure you understand a lot and know more than you think. Good luck!

  3. wilsonemily says:

    I’m finding myself in exactly the same position; the need to be knowledgeable and up-to-date about all current events! It’s definitely important to do exactly what you’re doing: to realize how essential it is to ward off intimidating work environments with the power of your knowledge. Also, in keeping up with the above comments; downloading all the free news apps are great in that whenever you’re en route somewhere or have some downtime, it’s super easy to catch up on current events. Great first post and way to fight any lingering intimidation in the workplace!


  4. Bree says:

    Great post, Allyson! I know how you feel! I met my editor as well as the other interns this past Thursday, and I felt extremely intimidated and overwhelmed. They all seemed to know exactly what to do, while I had to ask a million and one questions. I felt a wee-bit annoying. But I eventually got the hang of things! I keep forgetting that these people have been doing this for a long time and that it’s okay to ASK questions!

  5. codynewton says:

    I feel exactly the same way when I talk with the reporters at my internship. They all know so much, it’s overwhelming at times, but also inspiring. I did a pretty good job of keeping up in the major news throughout the world, but I knew almost nothing about Portland before I moved here. I’ve had to spend a lot of time catching up and learning all the things about Portland that I didn’t know before I came here.

    I agree with you about it helping to drive me. I like be a part of their conversations so I do my best to stay up to date on the local news and the things the reporters here are always talking about. It sounds like you’re going to learn a lot while you’re there!

    Good work!

  6. pdxsx says:

    Well done, Ally! You are doing everything correctly, the only thing you need is a bit more time to catch up. You’ll be great!


  7. zolfaghari says:

    Sounds like you landed at an internship that you weren’t quit expecting? I love that you’re using that as a motivator, rather than an anchor, to keep you excited and challenged. I find that the more challenging our internships become, the more opportunity there is for individual growth. Do your best to stay sharp and keep your head above water! Best of luck.

  8. Alysha Beck says:

    That’s so awesome that you are taking the initiative to do your homework and make sure you’re up-to-date about what’s going on in the news. It will definitely show when you’re interacting with your co-workers. It can definitely be intimidating when everyone at work is so knowledgeable about the industry and current events. So I think you’re doing yourself a favor by taking the bull by the horns and gaining as much knowledge as you can in your down time.

  9. It’s great that you are able to take that nervous intimidation energy and channel it into being productive. Catching up and staying informed is practically a full time job so it is great that you are staying on top of everything and using down time to get ahead. I have the same urge to go look at something mindless when there is a lull, but it’s good you have found news outlets to fill the void. Kudos to you for rising to the challenge and going above and beyond for your internship!

  10. michelletag says:

    That’s awesome for your own education! I understand what it can be like to be intimidated by others because of their knowledge. But, you’ll feel proud of yourself for getting in the loop and being able to contribute substance to a conversation! I liked your post a lot, good luck with your internship!

  11. rkaapu says:

    Great post. Knowledge comes with time, or so it appears. I am in a similar boat with having to learn a whole new world of technology. But even after three weeks I feel 10 times more confident about technology than I did when I first arrived. I am sure that after a while that feeling will fade and a sense of confidence will arise from what you have learned. You should be proud that you manage to avoid Facebook and use your time to become knowledgeable and a valuable member of the team. Good luck!

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