Antoinette Sedillo – New Mexico State University
When I was in high school I was the type of person who never tried anything new unless I knew for sure that I was going to be good at it. As you can imagine, that attitude kept me from trying out many new things. A week after my 19th birthday, I got invited to attend an info meeting about Southwestern Advantage. I never applied or searched for any opportunities, so I figured I’d at least go hear about it. Plus Kim, the girl who invited me, had a certain level of confidence I desired to see in myself.
Earlier that month, one of the girls I worked with in retail was having a hard time getting a “professional career position” at any local law firm because all of her work experience consisted of retail cashiering. She already had her Bachelor’s degree in sociology, was a 4.0 student in college, and was trying to get into law school. Over and over again, she was denied the opportunity for even an interview (for grad/law school or a job position) due to the “lack of skill-based experience” on her resume. She told me how she wished she had participated in some type of internship at some point in college instead of a get-me-by type of job; and told me that if I ever get offered any type of internship opportunity to take it – no matter what. So, I did.
After going through the interview process, I made the decision to commit to the Southwestern Advantage program for my summer. Once on board, I realized I had the opportunity to do this all through college, realizing how many students participated for multiple summers. Plus, I couldn’t really see how I could gain ALL the skills I wanted and needed by doing it for only one summer.
Ultimately, I got way more out of my experience than I had initially bargained for. I grew more as a person than I could have ever imagined throughout my summers with Southwestern, but exponentially after my first summer. I learned how to think on my feet and handle situations on my own for a change; rather than asking my parents/friends/family what their opinions were first, and making decisions off what others thought, or worse, not making a decision at all – something many of us tend to do. I learned that doing something that most people aren’t willing to do, leads to a higher success rate in anything and everything.
Growing and moving forward –– that’s real happiness.