Sweet Dreams - Summer 2015Wednesday, August 12, 2015
In the past few days since the last day of my internship, I've been able to sleep in until 7am, rest my finger and eyes from the hours and hours spent on the computer in "Excel World", checked items off my summer to-do list, have fun Sister Time with my one and only, and feel excitement about my future rather than dread.
Most of all, this was a summer of professional growth. Since summer of 2009, May through August have been spent on intensely working towards my career goals. While each one had its own challenges, rewards, growth, memories, and friendship, this summer in particular has been the most daunting, interesting, and inspiring one. The determination of carving a future that I crave settled in a few days before my first day of my last internship. However, there was fear of direction in my career. I have always been a worrier from the time I was in middle school. Maybe it's the mindset that Asian parents instill on their children, that life is a straight road and that money will make you happy; therefore, you must work hard, earn a college degree, and land a prestigious job because money equals happiness. But what is life without happiness? When we wake up in the morning, we make the choice of how full our happy-o-meter is. Most mornings throughout the school year, my happy-o-meter was close to empty, and I was beginning to lose hope that I wouldn't find my own ground.
But something changed after my first day of work. For the first time, I woke up every morning excited about something. About working in an industry that I've wanted to work in since high school, about knowing my efforts are making a significant impact for my team and towards the building of the new manufacturing plant, about learning something new everyday outside the textbooks and lectures, about working with people who have the same drive and motivation as I do, about people who value both the company and individuals. College education is an important tool that has shaped how I think and approach problems to create solutions. But in the end, it is just a tool, and there is more to the next 40 years of my career than only what I learned in college. Why choose the expected path of working in petroleum or for a chemicals company? I don't have to. Why should I be just like the rest of the students and fellow classmates at my school? I don't want to. Despite what websites and my classmates believe in what I will do with my major, I will do something different and more. My experiences over the past couple summers have quietly shaped the path I have dreamed of for years, and now I know what I want to accomplish in the next 5 years and 15 years. At the top of my list is to have a job that I enjoy and the chance to live and work all over the US and the world.
Last week, after intense interviews for a full time position, everything started to fall in place. Life is a great adventure. It is about creating my own doors of luck that will open on their own when I least expect them to. It is about always doing things outside my comfort zone and going beyond the status quo. My goals will change every year as new events and obstacles scatter in my path. The grass always looks greener on the other side, but as of this summer, I have found where I am happy and what can make me happy. That is what's most important.