This Is Why Having A Nice Work Space Matters

I’ve developed a bit of a nasty habit: I leave piles of things on my desk and I do all my work in my bed.

I don’t think I’ve used a desk for its intended purpose since my early high school days, and as a result, my desk has become a sort of dumping area for all sorts of things. Bills, notebooks, snacks, clothes, everything. Of course, there’s no way this is really conducive to me getting work done, even as a so-called “creative”. Slouching under the covers while I design logos and come up with ad copy is keeping my mind and body in the entirely wrong mindset. I tell myself that I’m supposed to be working, but my body and mind is ready for sleep.

Deep down, I’ve been wishing I actually made use of my desk space for awhile, especially after seeing so many pictures of gorgeous work spaces splashed all over home decor sites, but I haven’t brought myself to get my desk together until today.

I realized I needed to take the plunge as I was lying in bed reading an article about people who work from home. I’m a full time student, but all the time I spend doing homework in my apartment is akin to what it is like to work from home, so I figured the principles would easily apply to myself. Most stay at home workers strongly recommend that you keep a clean (upright) work space so you don’t find yourself getting distracted. Imagine your room as a metaphor for your mind. If your room is a mess, your mind will become equally messy. Your thoughts will get tripped up and trapped between mounds of clutter and piles of paper. It might seem silly to think this way, but if so many stay at home workers agree on this as a universal truth, I figured it can’t be far from reality.

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Of course, being a highly aesthetic person, I believe there is more to the equation than cleanliness. When building a productive work space, you must not only make it neat, presentable, and easy to use, but also inviting. A work space that does not fit your aesthetic tastes will not draw you in. You’ll inevitably retreat back to your bed or wherever you are most comfortable.

You can brighten up an otherwise cold work area by adding warm lighting and pops of color. You can do this fairly cheaply with some fabric and a DIY attitude. A couple of my favorite ways to add pops of color is by adding fabric to boxes or push pin boards. These are items that are used for decluttering and make your work space more efficient, so why not make them an attractive focal point while you’re at it?

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Of course, as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself. I knew I needed to walk before I could run. I decided to start overhauling my workspace by cleaning up all my clutter. I’ll tackle the DIY projects next time. Stay tuned.

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Ancient bottles of water were dumped. Nail polishes were returned to their assigned seats. Piles of mail were organized. Loose change made it back into my wallet. I have to say, it was all pretty darn satisfying. But the most powerful part of the process? Sitting down at my desk to work for the first time in years. And honestly, I have to wonder if the reason I had enough time to write a post today was entirely a result of my space change. I found myself flying through my work today at breakneck speed. Maybe it was just a fluke, but I’m certainly not going to find out by climbing back into bed.

One Woman’s Mission To Build A Community In STEM

 

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Several weeks ago, I wrote about my experience as a young woman pursuing a career in advertising who also has an interest in STEM (and its status as a male dominated field). Personally, I was never told not to explore science or math as a career, but the media I consumed from youth onward tended to portray men in those roles. My parents gave me female-oriented magazines to read that focused on careers in fashion, social issues, art, and health, but very little on careers in science. On my campus, I’ve heard tons of stories from female peers who felt they were not encouraged to pursue STEM fields like their male counterparts and face a less welcoming environment in the classroom and the workplace. Other students I’ve talked to have had great professors and mentors, made friends in their classes, and have access to awesome resources, but still wish for a larger community of women exploring these subjects.

At the end of the article, I articulated my desire to connect with women who were not only making great strides in the STEM field, but also had the desire to reach out and lead young women to realize their potential in a field they might otherwise overlook. When I met Dr. Anna Powers as a result, I knew I had to share her story.

When Dr. Anna Powers, an NYU researcher, lecturer, scholar and entrepreneur, noticed that some female students had never been encouraged to explore STEM by a mentor or role model she quickly identified a correlation between lack of encouragement or guidance and performance in the subjects.

“There are very few women in these fields to begin with, so there is no community,” Powers says. “Not having the proper support can turn women away from the field and, thus, many young women feel that science is not for them.”

While Powers herself was always interested in STEM subjects, she noticed during her many years of teaching that while some young women were perfectly capable of excelling in these subjects, the society around them did not motivate or encourage them to explore. Then, their potential was left untapped.

As a direct result, Powers established her organization, Powers Education. Through this company, she pairs young women with tutors and role models to help them explore subjects like technology and math as well as unlock the potential they had not yet realized.

One student, for example, came to Powers with a “D” in a science course. The student had struggled to understand the subject and had almost resigned herself to failure as she felt she was more naturally gifted with language arts, a college major typically dominated by women. Powers took her into office hours sessions and explained that science, too, is a language and that her brain was perfectly capable of learning it. By the end of the semester, the student passed the course with an “A” and saw science in an entirely different light. For her, and many students, she simply needed a mentor to show her that her difficulty with science is not unsurmountable, she only needed to find inspiration in the pursuit of new knowledge – and that inspiration can open tons of doors.

“I could have gone into another field, had I not met a role model who encouraged me to get a PhD,” Powers says. “I have always been really good at science, but in order to pursue it, one needs to feel inspired.”

When Powers went to college, she took a course that combined math and physics, where her professor noticed her aptitude and encouraged her to pursue a career in STEM. For the first time in her life, she realized that science was a beautiful, ever-changing thing that she could spend the rest of her existence discovering. Being a goal oriented person, Powers decided that she would not only dedicate her life to science, but she also wanted to change the world. For her, that meant doing exactly what her professor had done for her. She wanted to bring more women on board to experience everything that STEM has to offer.

Currently, Powers Education is focused not only on teaching but also on building a community of women in STEM by inspiring women to participate. The video campaign, emPower, captures the stories of young women in STEM, their struggles and how the community in Powers Education helps them find belonging.

 

 

In the future, Powers wants Powers Education to be global. She still has work to do in the US and tons of girls can benefit from building a relationship with one of her tutors and receiving a deeper education, but some countries have even wider gaps to fill. In fact, in some countries, girls are discouraged from going to school in general, let alone exploring STEM.

“I want Powers Education to be the go-to resource and support for all educational and career related materials for women in STEM,” Powers says. “I believe it is essential to the world because women are essential to the world”

Want to learn more about Powers Education and ways you can participate?

Visit powerseducation.com/empower

If Everyone Understood Consent The World Would Be A Little Brighter

 

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Sometimes, the internet just give you gold.

I was scrolling through an article today, and as per usual, I went to read the comment section. Some people avoid comments like the plague, but I’m genuinely interested in hearing people’s opinions whether I agree with them or not, and sometimes I learn a thing or two or find a link to another relevant article. Today, however, I found ironic internet gold. As I’m scrolling along, I read the following comment:

“I think campus sexual assault is being discussed mostly in the hopes that it will lead to some republican saying something appalling on a live mic.”

This comment was posted in 2014, but they certainly weren’t predicting the future about this:

 

First, I certainly don’t think the discussions surrounding sexual assault on college campuses or elsewhere were a secret conspiratorial plot to stoke a fire and catch a republican presidential candidate making “lewd” comments. That is ridiculous. That is clearly ridiculous.

The problem is, too often, people think that conversations surrounding rape, sexual assault and consent are being perpetuated for any reason other than educating people and making people safer. People aren’t talking about it because they just want attention or pity, they aren’t talking about it because they want to encourage women to make false accusations, and they aren’t talking about it because they want to make all men feel like guilty pariahs. People are talking about it because they want others to understand the difference between consensual and non-consensual activity, and what should happen when non-consensual activity takes place.

I do think the discussion of sexual assault on college campuses and the Trump video are linked — they are linked because it demonstrates the exact mentality that leads to the normalization of non-consensual behavior. When Trump states that he can grab women’s private areas and kiss them, he claims that he doesn’t wait, and he doesn’t have to because he is a star. When he says, “I don’t even wait,” the words he carefully leaves out is, “for her consent” or “for her to stop me”. Even Trump himself knew when he made the statement that he was implying that there was something he should have waited for, and yet he did not — and to him, that is a bragging joke.

As women on college campuses, including my own, continue to battle this issue, it becomes increasingly clear that the journey will be entirely uphill until mentalities like that of Trump are dealt with.

When a college student is sexually assaulted they can go to both the police department and the University. Many students choose to report the incident to both parties, as the criminal justice system works slowly, often taking years to reach final judgement. By reporting the incident to the college as well, a victim may be able to have their assailant suspended, moved, or in some cases expelled. Colleges, however, have been heavily criticized for their inability to accurately judge such serious crimes and their proclivity to find ways to blame the victim for the assault. When elements like drugs and alcohol come into play, universities still seem unclear on how to proceed when determining consent. Further, it is often in the university’s best interest to determine the activity to be consensual in order to avoid PR issues.

On the flip side, high profile cases like that of the Duke lacrosse players, have drawn increasing media attention to the plight of those falsely accused of non-consensual activity, leaving a community of people who believe tons of women would be interested in accusing men of sexual assault for various vindictive reasons.

When I talk to male friends and guys on my campus, it seems they do not operate in fear that one day, a woman will decide to accuse them of rape because they are an angry ex-girlfriend or something. They are however, scared that will “accidentally” rape someone. Of course, you cannot accidentally assault a person, but some people feel that the idea of consent is so fuzzy in some areas that they could commit a crime by mistake. I find myself, time and time again, explaining that, no, just because your partner had alcohol doesn’t mean they can legally say you raped them (unless they were so intoxicated that they could not have objected to sexual activity or otherwise did not consent). I have to explain that no, you don’t necessarily have to say the exact words, “do you consent to this activity” before you make every sexual move. You do however, need to understand two things: 1. If someone does not have the capacity to object to an activity, then you cannot move forward with that person and 2. If someone, says “no” “stop” “slow down” “I don’t like that” or they pull away, push you off of them, turn away, try to leave, or do anything else to indicate they are not comfortable, you absolutely must stop what you’re doing. Learn to listen to the person’s words and body language and act accordingly and never use roughness or force unless they explicitly ask. If you find that when you are intoxicated, you aren’t a very good listener, then that isn’t a good scene for you and you should avoid drinking heavily before attempting to hook up with someone. If you are sober and an intoxicated person tries to initiate sexual activity with you, the best thing to do is decline. The next day, the person may regret the activity and feel taken advantage of, so while they initiated the interaction and it isn’t considered rape, you should honestly just be the better person and tell them “call me when you’re sober.” If at any moment, you feel unsure about a situation, discuss it with the other person before you do anything else.

While I have no problem explaining these consent rules to people headed to college parties, statements like Trump’s only expose our societal need for the conversation to start during our pivotal formative years. When I took sex education in middle school and high school, the conversation mainly centered on abstinence, puberty, and discussing how difficult it would be to raise a baby. After that, we were given a quick seminar on sexually transmitted infections and condoms (no other birth control methods were discussed). Consent never entered the equation. If schools don’t cover it and parents ignore the subject, who is going to tell them that you have the right to change your mind about a sexual activity at any point and being forced to continue is considered rape? Who is going to explain that males can also be sexually assaulted and they have the right to come forward? Who will intimate that while people may wear certain types of clothing because they want to look and feel sexy, you never have the right to touch someone, shout at them, or say rude things just because they dressed a certain way? All of these rules may seem obvious on paper, but when people boast about grabbing and kissing people without permission, it becomes all too clear that the consent discussion is far from over. Some people have yet to read the definition.

 

 

The Biggest Financial Mistakes You Can Make In College

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As the price of attending college increases and the number of well-paid entry-level jobs shrinks, most college students worry about their post-graduation finances. We can no longer assume that a four-year degree will translate into a good job (or any job) right after college. Instead, many graduates make do with adding yet another internship to their resume or move back in with their parents while they search for a job in their field of choice. Then, as they search for available positions, Sallie Mae comes knocking at the door.

While this situation is far from ideal, it is a reality that many millennials face. There are plenty of ways to improve your chances of receiving a job offer before you graduate, but it’s equally important to prepare yourself financially in the case that you don’t receive an offer right away.

First, if you don’t have a post-graduation emergency fund, you can experience some very frustrating set-backs when money is already tight.  After you graduate you will have a lot of expenses both unrelated and related to your job search. For many grads, you will be paying way more bills than you are accustomed to, in addition to loans, extra travel expenses for interviews, and more. As a result, you will need an emergency fund for unforeseen expenses like your old car breaking down or a sudden medical issue. You can start preparing your emergency fund during college by creating a savings schedule for yourself or using money saving apps like Mint. Personally, I realized that I spend a ton of my money on food, so now, every time I eat at a restaurant, I write down the amount of money I spent. Then, I divide that number in half and put that amount of money into my emergency fund. You’d be surprised how much money accumulates by the end of the year.

Second, If you don’t get a credit card, you might have trouble applying for loans in the future. For most of your late teens/early adulthood, people will probably tell you to avoid getting a credit card. A credit card can be trouble in the hands of someone who doesn’t budget well, so most college students only use debit. Of course, eventually, you will absolutely need a credit card in order to establish good credit and apply for loans, so it is imperative that you sign up for one before it’s too late. By signing up for a credit card during your college years, you can save yourself tons on future bills — you must simply remember to treat it no differently from your debit card and set a reminder on your phone or computer to pay it off each month.

Third, letting your coffee habit (or any other seemingly small frivolous expense) get the best of you adds up fast.  If you are regularly on a college campus you will likely see Starbucks cups (or Dunkin Donuts depending on where you live) in the hands of every other student. When you’re working hard and managing a busy schedule, caffeine and sugar will seem like a good way to keep yourself going. Unfortunately, in addition to being bad for your health, those $5 lattes can take a huge chunk out of your weekly budget. Instead of spending $100 per month on coffee, save your cash and find ways to improve your sleep schedule and quality. It might be financially beneficial to power down your electronics an hour before bed and find ways to break up your homework load so you can get more sleep.

Lastly, spending money on goods rather than experiences will always leave you wanting (and spending) more. College is a great time for making memories and experiencing new things on a regular basis, so take advantage of it! Instead of spending your money on clothes, forgettable fast food, or an upgrade for your cell phone, spend money on activities you can enjoy with your friends. When you buy a material object, the newness of it fades or it is quickly consumed. Experiences, however, can create positive memories that leave you feeling more satisfied. If you have the choice between buying a new piece of costume jewelry from Forever 21 (that will probably break anyway) and going to a great comedy show with your loved ones, the comedy show will probably be a better return on your investment. You’ll leave college feeling like your money was well spent.

Why Boredom Is The Key To Creativity

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Sophia Amoruso (Founder of NastyGal, a popular fast fashion retailer) recently said in an interview: If you’re the person who stops and says, ‘I made it,’ the whole world is going to blow by you by the time you’ve finished saying that.

What she means, is that, it’s wonderful (and important) to celebrate your victories in life, but you must also remember to keep moving. To be truly extraordinary, one must continue working, even when it seems like your last victory was just won. Otherwise, not only will the rest of the world quickly leave you behind, but your own mind will begin to atrophy like any unused muscle. This idea holds true both in the world of fast-fashion and any other creativity-driven industry.

But what if the whole idea of “keeping moving” could also go hand in hand with staying absolutely still?

Sometimes I feel like my body and mind are overwhelmed with passion. I have one million thoughts simultaneously colliding, and sifting through the din can get messy. So instead, I just ignore all of them. I ignore them with Netflix and trips to the bar with friends and music and theater shows and podcasts and whatever else. But underneath there’s this itchiness telling me to go do something, to go make something, to go create an experience rather than witness someone else’s.

In those moments, that’s when I know I need to shift my focus. I need to make boredom my goal — because once I’m bored, like really bored, I have no choice but to start sifting through all of my ideas.

To force myself into the state of boredom that precedes passionate, creative breakthroughs, I schedule time into the week to just do nothing. That’s right folks, my creative process is to do nothing. Some people swear by running, throwing a ball against a wall, drinking, smoking, taking a shower … but seriously, I do nothing. I sit. And I stare into space. I just let my brain run wild. Sooner or later, some thoughts start getting louder than others.

If I’m writing a song, I sit in front of a piece of paper and wait for things to become clear. If I’m designing something I sit in front of my laptop with the Wifi turned off. If I’m trying to figure out what my next passion project should be, I lay down and stare at the ceiling until things make sense. Yes, it’s super boring, but that’s exactly why it works. Once you get through the agonizing part where you desperately wish you had something to occupy your mind, you eventually remember to listen to the things that are bothering you. You start thinking about your dreams and aspirations. The emotions you’ve encountered throughout the day. The sentences that have impacted you and the sights that were memorable. You think about that application you used today that had a design flaw that got on your nerves – could you make it better? Creativity and experiences are driven by impactful memories and emotions. Once you start to address them, ideas start to fall into place.

If you can manage to work a whole lot of nothing into your daily life, you can eventually make something really great. Your nothings will turn into somethings and sometimes those somethings will turn into victories. Then you’ll celebrate them for a moment and return back to nothing. The whole pattern may sound a bit depressing on paper, but in reality, it’s exciting. Watching something grow from an idea to something tangible, being able to draw something out of your mind and conjure it in the real world  is a remarkable process to behold. It’s so remarkable, that you’ll start to embrace being bored on the regular — because you know the possibilities.

Let’s stop shaming people for saying “I’m bored” and then pointing them to the endless things around them that could occupy their time. Instead,  let’s embrace boredom. For example, if a kid comes to you and whines about boredom, don’t suggest an activity for them. Let them sit and think. You’d be surprised what games, inventions, drawings, and imaginary worlds they can come up with — and you have the capability to create just as much.

 

What Socially Anxious People Do At Work

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In my millennial circles, social anxiety has been a hot topic for several years. In comparison to most mental afflictions, social anxiety has become far more widely discussed and a lot of people I know claim to have it. If you look at websites that are frequented by people in my age bracket (like Buzzfeed and Huffington Post) you’ll see a lot of content concerning social anxiety and anxiety in general.

While I wouldn’t normally doubt someone if they say they have a mental disorder, I have learned to take the claim “I have social anxiety” with a grain of salt. For a lot of people, that statement is true, but for many others, they might just be shy or they occasionally experience awkward social situations.

People who truly experience social anxiety can have many different symptoms, but the overarching theme is deep emotional discomfort associated with regular daily social interactions. You may yearn to be part of a group or have a lot of friends, but the idea of walking up and saying hello to someone seems out of the question. Being introduced to someone might feel like a highly stressful audition and receiving criticism can confirm fears of worthlessness and inadequacy.

Social anxiety is particularly frustrating because the sufferer most likely knows their fears are irrational, but they have extreme difficulty controlling them, so they operate in a constant state of nervousness.

This type of situation can create a lot of problems if you have an office job or any other position that involves a lot of daily social interaction. Being a socially anxious person myself, I have to constantly push myself in new ways every day because I work in a huge office where I see new faces literally every day. As an intern, I was given 9 short weeks to make an impression and that task is made a lot harder if you aren’t a naturally sociable person. Forcing myself to speak up in meetings (even when I feel certain in my mind that everyone will be annoyed that an intern tried to voice an unwanted opinion), asking for help, and introducing myself to strangers around the office is something that is extremely unnatural to me. To make matters more challenging, the team I was placed on was made up of people who didn’t really like each other, didn’t communicate well, and wasn’t all that excited to be receiving a new intern. The members of my team would talk badly about each other and wanted me to take sides and agree with them. People threw each other under the bus when given the opportunity. All in all, the social environment was pretty uninviting, even for someone without social anxiety.

About halfway into my internship I realized that the problem wasn’t getting any better with time, and I was going to have to find a way to be social and make my mark among a very disjointed group of people.

So what do successful people with social anxiety do at work to get around their daily internal obstacles?

First of all, they take advantage of what their job has to offer. If you’re lucky enough to work somewhere that comes with perks like access to a gym or a skill building course, take a class! You may find that it’s easier to meet people and socialize in the less formal setting, especially if you can infer that you have a common interest with someone like coding or crossfit.

Second, people with social anxiety learn to appreciate their successful moments. As previously mentioned, you may take criticism extremely hard, so it’s important to savor your successes when they come along. If you only focus on the bad moments, you’ll want to hide yourself more and more.

Third, they make concrete goals. Sure, it’s easy to walk into a meeting thinking, I really need to speak up today, but then the entire meeting may pass without you saying a word. Instead, you might want to tell yourself, I’m going to say 3 things in this meeting today. Sure, you might not come up with 3 amazing, knock-em-dead insights every meeting, but giving yourself a number can make the goal seem more real and attainable. One of those comments might just be vocally agreeing with someone, but even those little comments can be important when you’re trying to make sure you’re heard.

Lastly, successful people with social anxiety recognize when they need help. If you start to think that your mind is interfering with your performance and you feel lost in how to fix it, you have to realize you might need to talk to a counselor or therapist to come up with a gameplan. It may sound extreme, but what’s more extreme is losing out on career opportunities because you aren’t leaning in.

Even if you don’t suffer from full blown social anxiety, I still think these tips can be useful if you need a little nudge every now and then. Especially if you’re new to the workforce and don’t exactly know what your place is.

 

5 Things I Learned During My First Internship

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At the end of May, I hopped on a plane with 3 suitcases, moved into an apartment in Manhattan with a new British roommate, and started gaining way more practical knowledge than I’ve ever gotten through my time at college. Here’s a short list of the most important things I’ve learned in my short months working at Ogilvy and Mather.

1.) Trust First Impressions.

On my first day at Ogilvy, all the interns (there were about 40 of us) had already been given their summer assignment and the name of their manager. In the late afternoon, our managers (or someone else from our team) were supposed to come pick us up and show us to our desk — kind of like being picked up from school by your mom. I was the last person in the room waiting for my manager to appear and … she never showed up. When I got to my desk, I didn’t have a chair and my laptop was missing. My entire team was in a meeting, and my manager apologized when we eventually found each other, so I tried to assume that it was just a busy day and I wasn’t showing up at the greatest time. Well, after a couple of weeks at work, I realized that my first day experience was not out of the ordinary. When I spoke to other interns, they told me about all the projects they had been given, whereas my manager rarely gave me work to do. I would constantly offer to help out with small tasks because I had to play catch-up in order to understand what was going on in all those meetings, but I was often denied. It was a long time before I was given/took enough responsibilities to fill up an 8 hour day, and for the first couple of weeks I was pretty bored between meetings unless I could find someone to shadow without bothering them. Basically, I learned that just because you’re new to a company, doesn’t mean people are going to make room for you or do a good job delegating tasks for you. If it seems that your boss isn’t really the type who welcomes people with open arms, shows them around, and gives them a list of tasks, start thinking of tasks you can complete yourself without being asked and start networking with other people. Sometimes, simply asking for something to help out with isn’t going to be enough.

2.) Learn The Office Culture — You Might Need Some Hacks to Fit In.

My office has a pretty strong drinking culture. With accounts like Jägermeister, desks decorated with wine bottles, and a bar across the street that is lovingly called an “extra conference room”, the first question people ask you is always, “Are you 21?” As a 20 year old, this can be a slight obstacle when you’re trying to make relationships and network. If you’re in a similar situation or you have some other thing that sets you apart from your co-workers, you have to work twice as hard to find common ground, but it’s definitely worth a try. You want to leave with as many new contacts as possible at the end of your internship, so if people want go somewhere you can’t go or do some activity you don’t enjoy, practice your listening skills to find other things you have in common with people and use them. They will be flattered that you’ve listened to them rather than disappointed if they ask to meet for drinks and you suggest going out for caramel macchiatos instead because you aren’t 21 but remember that it’s their favorite non-alcoholic beverage. Also learn which bars allow people who are under 21 to be inside.

3.) Be Ready to Deal with Some…Characters

When you imagine an internship at an office, you might think that everyone is going to be buttoned up and stuffy. Well, every workplace varies, but overall, offices and other workplaces are staffed by real live people, and just like in the cafeteria on the movie Mean Girls, there’s going to be all sorts of people and cliques. Just because a workplace has one general “culture” doesn’t mean everyone will be the same, so you want to seek out the type of people you mesh with as soon as you arrive – that means introduce yourself to literally everyone and talk about things other than work. Pay attention to the way people carry themselves, their sense of humor, and find out their interests. Don’t just hang around the people you sit next to in your cubicle. Chances are, you’re not going to love every single person you meet. If you realize you don’t mesh well with your manager or one of your peers, simply keep that relationship professional and find someone you do mesh with. Most importantly, resist the urge to talk badly about people at work and try to avoid people who gossip a lot. They are almost always trouble.

4.) Trust Your Gut

If someone tells you to do something and it seems really wrong, don’t do it. At one point, I was working on a project, and one of my bosses suggested that I blow it off and go to a party. My gut reaction was to say no to her and continue working because I didn’t want to let my teammates who were also working on the project down. In the end, I was extremely glad I stayed and worked rather than listening to my boss. Sometimes, it’s just better to trust your instinct. Just because someone is older than you, doesn’t mean you have to blindly do whatever they say.

5.) (Sometimes) Arguing is a Sign of Passion

Every year, interns at my company are given a project in which they are put into groups and tasked with creating an entire AD campaign from start to finish. My group spent an insane amount of time arguing, rehashing, re-doing, debating, staying late, and arguing again. On the day of our presentation, none of us had slept for more than 4 hours and some of our creative had been literally written at 1 am that morning. We won. When the judges told my group that our campaign and pitch was the best they had seen, we all realized that the reason we had had so much difficulty putting it all together was the level of passion we all had for getting it absolutely perfect. While other intern groups had given up at some point and decided something would just have to be “good enough”, we kept working and working and working until we couldn’t anymore. It was the level of drive for perfection that made our pitch the winner, and I’m sure of it.