Viewpoint: High heels epitomize challenge of earning internship

By Grace Gaddy

Last spring, with friends graduating, career fairs buzzing, summer camps interviewing for counselors and friendly Baylor emails flashing hints that eventually I would have to face [gasp] “the future,” I started getting the heebie-jeebies.

Ever got that feeling? Like college and life is whirling along, everyone else’s boat is sailing and you’re just sitting there on the water? I wasn’t going to let my boat just sit. The summer was fast approaching, and good grief, I was going to do something productive to fill the time and bumper-pad my future – a job, internship, or just something I could tell Grandma.

But whatever it would be, I was determined to enhance my resume, gain some sort of professional experience and send myself spiraling upward into a whirlwind of imminent success. Cue inspirational soundtrack.

So the next time one of those delightful Baylor emails popped up in my inbox – “Interviews for Summer Internship” – I signed up. I walked into the office, signed my name on the little dotted line and borrowed some high heels. Yes sir. My first official interview called for the best.

That was the only time I wore high heels all year – or power-heels, according to my roommate.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, highly protected by the women of world history. High heels are more than a shoe option. They are an art, a skill, a sacrifice, and they require practice – practice I was woefully lacking.

I think I tripped once for every noodle I ate in my spaghetti at lunch that day. Come to think of it, I was walking like a pair of noodles too. From the Brooks cafeteria to the Castellaw Communications Center, there I was, tripping – or let’s say dancing – along, sacrificing my pride to establish my womanly dignity. Ironic. But the sacrifice was worth it.

I two-stepped into the boardroom and stared into the eyes of my future. Now I could really feel those noodles. Questions started coming. What did I want to do with my life? What did I hope to accomplish if granted this internship? What kind of vision was stirring in my bones? What was my understanding on the proof for Fermat’s last theorem?

OK, maybe not that last one. But the answers would have been the same, a one-size-fits all – I’m not sure.

My life is still very much unplanned. But that’s why I was interviewing. It seemed like a good first step – like raising my sails.

So I rustled up some awkward answers, smiled a lot and prayed. And then I heard his voice ever so gently: “I’m with you.”

After that, it went pretty smoothly. We had a good conversation, my future and I. And by nothing short of a miracle, I managed to walk out without tripping and that was that. It was over.

But then the strangest thing happened. The phone rang. He told me I got it, the internship. Wait, what? Really? Noodles and all?

I was a flurry of excitement.

A hop, a skip and a power-heeled jump later, my summer internship took off. And I must say, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

It definitely constituted a fresh new “learning experience” with plenty of challenges, but I wouldn’t trade it or those challenges for anything.

And I learned that God really is faithful. He wouldn’t give me more than I could handle, even when I was sure I couldn’t handle it.

So with that, I would encourage any anxious or heebie-jeebies student to go ahead and look ahead. Just jump in. Go for interviews. Talk to people in your chosen career field. Baylor provides so many opportunities for those kinds of connections, but you have to take that first step. And it’s OK to trip.

Quite OK.

Grace Gaddy is a senior journalism news-editorial major from Palestine and is a reporter for the Lariat.