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Embracing Growth and Authenticity

Work laptop sitting on wood desk next to coffee mug and open notebook.

It’s nearing the end of my internship as a graphic design intern here at The Hoffman Agency, and as much as it is bitter, it’s been very sweet.

Entering a new environment, especially as a recent college graduate, was daunting, and I felt the pressure to be perfect, as if making mistakes were a sin that would disappoint everyone and make my team regret hiring me.

However, I learned that this was far from the truth.

Entering a new environment, especially as a recent college graduate, was daunting, and I felt the pressure to be perfect, as if making mistakes were a sin that would disappoint everyone and make my team regret hiring me. However, I learned that this was far from the truth.

On the first day of my internship, I was greeted with open arms and felt welcomed. I was seen as someone here to learn and improve, not as a flawless intern.

I made many mistakes because I was new to how the agency functioned and unfamiliar with the programs we used and the types of designs we typically created for clients. You may find yourself in a similar situation when you first start out or you may have already experienced these challenges. I’ve learned that people care, and they want the best for you.

When it came to my work, it was an enlightening experience being able to learn new programs, such as Adobe After Effects and Premiere for motion graphics and video editing. I loved spending time on the National Intern Day video for Hoffman’s social accounts. It allowed me to use a combination of almost all the Adobe Programs along with a variety of skills that I didn’t get a chance to practice in school. 

The best advice I received while working here has been to be your genuine self.

To me, this means being honest with the people you’re working with. Let them know what you are enjoying, what excites you, what you’re struggling with, or what you’re dealing with. Be open and honest about ways you could better thrive in your workplace.

I know that, nearing the end of my time here, I started burning out and struggling with both my work and personal life, but if I hadn’t shared it with my manager, then I would have had to struggle alone. At the same time, let people know what you’re enjoying about your job so that you can take on more work that will make you feel fulfilled.

As someone who has grappled with mental health challenges throughout my life, along with imposter syndrome and self-doubt, if I can send a message to those who are starting internships or jobs right now, I want to say that you are wanted, you were hired for a reason, and that you do belong. Not every place will be the right fit for you, but one day, you will come across one that is meant for you.

In summary, my internship at The Hoffman Agency has been a profound learning experience. It has taught me the importance of authenticity, the value of open communication, and the truth that making mistakes is a natural part of growth.

As I move forward in my career, I will carry these lessons with me, knowing that they will continue to shape my journey toward personal and professional growth.

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