Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Reflections from my Summer Internship at Spoten

I wanted to wait until the end of my internship to finally share what I have learned and what I feel were the most important aspects of my time at Spoten. Even though the internship ended last Friday, the 14th, I had to think a little bit of how much I grew in these past 9 weeks.

It was obviously not as close to what I thought my summer internship would be like this last summer before senior year: joining colleagues for coffee in the morning, moving from place to place continuously to do my tasks, and talking in person with people that could inspire me. However, I am really privileged to even have had the chance to be offered an internship in such crazy times, while many friends of mine saw unemployment and lack of financial resources, at the same time that many of them come from families with small businesses. That is what led me to apply to the position I was in.

Before that, I would constantly think about how I could help small businesses in my area but lacked both resources and ideas to do it. At Spoten, I have gotten a lot of experience and insights into how to perform tasks specific to what I want to do and to the areas I am skilled at. Moreover, now I have a clearer idea of what kind of culture I want to nourish in the organizations I am part of.

From the very first day with Spoten, everyone welcomed me as a member of the team and genuinely expected me to make a contribution. I hit rock bottom for the first weeks when I did not know what to even expect from myself, believing constantly I was a fraud and that someone better could have earned the place instead of me. I wanted to make a difference to the many small businesses around my place but thought I did not have enough skills to do so. Meanwhile, I started exposing myself again to areas in my life I had previously neglected: I began to illustrate, perform, dance, and record videos on my experiences being LGBTQIA+ and yellow in the Americas. With that, I regained a lot of confidence and put most of my creative mindset to work in my favor in my internship.

In addition, I could not have done all of this without the support of the crew. As aforementioned, I fell so many times and hit rock bottom, but the team was always there for me. It is like many leaders say: if you fall, we fall together, but we will stand up together. I learned to not be afraid to ask for help when I need it the most, and such humble acts led me to believe more in my own abilities to work with people I admire.

There is only one week prior to the beginning of Fall classes and I am still a little bit scared (I confess), though with all these good results I am capable of saying that I am ready to deal with it and thrive in what I believe in.