Be A Self-Starter

I’ve heard the term “self-starter” many, many times as a student in the J-school. The importance of finding motivation from yourself and not others is drilled into the daily curriculum. It wasn’t until I started my internship that I found the real importance of pushing yourself to do great things, even when no one else seems to notice.


The first day of my internship was an intimidating one. I walked into the office, met my coworkers and sat at my designated desk. I was expecting some sort of list of things I should get started on, but that was not the case. A client issue quickly took priority, so I decided to go ahead and research the company and the industry instead of sitting there waiting for someone to tell me what to do. I was surprised when my boss actually noticed that I had begun working without an assignment and thanked me for taking action instead of waiting for something to happen.

An article in Forbes titled “Unleash Your Inner Self-Starter” says it well, “spring from your
cubicle and dare to be great”. It can be intimidating to be at a new company or entering an unknown industry, but there is always something to be done. Even when there seems to be a lag in projects, feel free to reach out to your coworkers to see if there is anything you can do to help them. Even something small can be enough to set you apart later.

One of my favorite quotes about being self-motivated is, “A self-motivated but otherwise average person always outperforms a genius who can’t get going”. So next time you are faced with a challenge remember that you can be the hero and come up with a solution or someone else will. Be the person your boss thinks of when he/she needs something done

Katie Cooper



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2 Responses to Be A Self-Starter

  1. pdxsx says:

    Katie! You are such a rockstar! To be caught by your boss doing something useful without being asked to do so, is an incredible thing. It will really impress decision makers and give you a reputation as a (yes!) self-starter and kick-ass intern. Well done!

  2. darlenef1 says:

    Loved your Forbes reference! It’s definitely intimidating stepping foot in a new setting but it sounds like you’ve been doing great so far! Keep it up!

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