Fake it Til You Make It

When it comes to things I want, I’m quite ambitious (unless we’re talking about the opposite sex, then I run and hide. But that is a different story for a different day). Particularly with work. I really have no clue where it comes from, but if I see something that I want, I go out and get it. One instance in particular was the time I worked at my university at the student technology center.

Just a little background info, I transferred to a school in Arizona from Southern California. Up until new student orientation, I had never been to that region, so I was moving 400 miles away from home, going in completely blind. It was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made thus far. Ok, so going to school out of state isn’t cheap and a girl needs funds to keep up a Starbucks addiction, thus began my search for employment. I particularly wanted to work on campus because of the work-study program (untaxed paychecks!). I came across a job titled “student tech” and thought to myself, “hm, let’s apply for this one”. Now I should probably preface this by saying I seriously lacked in technological aptitude, but hey, who needs to know how to do their job anyways?

So I filled out the application and submitted it. Shortly thereafter I received an email asking me to complete a short test to vet my computer skills. Since I didn’t have any, I paid my little brother who is tech savvy $20 to take it for me. After the test was completed, the manager asked me in for an interview in the following 2 days. Since I was going up there to get the keys to my apartment and meet my roommate, I figured, why not kill 2 birds with one stone? Of course I was excited, I was getting to start a new chapter in my life and I might have potential employment. Now on to the interesting part.

For the sake of efficiency, I decided to do the interview first before hanging out with my new roomie and her mom. I quickly stopped into the apartment, exchanged pleasantries, and explained that I needed to jet to the interview, and I was off. Since my apartment was literally right next to the university, I thought I would have no trouble finding the building. Wrong. Typically, I’m pretty solid on directions but that day, I was batting a thousand. Worried that I would be late, I called the manager trying to figure out which building it was. She was great at giving clearcut directions. I should also mention that in Flagstaff the elevation is significantly higher than what I was accustomed to and I was wearing heels (something else I was not accustomed to). So I’m stumbling around, sweating, out of breath, trying to get to this building on time. I must disclose that the building was right smack in front of me the whole time.

So I finally find the office and the manager. I was sweaty, breathless, and walking like I had a limp (I only wear flats now). She escorted me to a room with a dozen socially awkward males working on computers. As she opened the door, all of them stopped what they were doing and stared at us as we walked by to go to the conference room (Cue even more sweating). I then sat down at a long rectangular table facing a panel of 3 student tech seniors, the manager, as well as another manager. We exchange the proverbial niceties. I quickly rambled off some facts about myself and then the interview began.

The panel interview worked like this: there were 10 questions they took turns asking me. Now, keep in mind that I had primitive computer skills. So I was faced with a dilemma, I could bullshit the answers and sound completely idiotic, or I could be honest and say I did not know (even still, idiotic). I chose the latter. Question after question, I would say I don’t know, and my confidence was waining and I felt like a chump. Not only was I wasting these people’s time, I felt like a moron. I felt like I was in Guantanamo being questioned on suspicions of treason (I would later come to realize that I was only in there for less than 20 minutes). The last few questions were softball ones so I answered a few (4 out of 10 ain’t bad O.o).

At one point I wanted to run out of the room from shear embarrassment. I was asking myself “I really didn’t think this through, I mean did I really think I could get away with this?”. So after the “interrogation” the manager paused and said “We normally don’t do this right off the bat, but the job is yours if you want it”. I must have had a look of bewilderment because she followed up with “We need someone with your interpersonal skills. Computer information is something we can teach you, being able to talk to human beings, we can’t”. She was pretty funny (we’d later go on to becoming good friends after I graduated and still are). I walked out of the conference room, the dozen socially awkward boys were still staring me down, but I didn’t care. I came, I saw, I conquered. I was on cloud nine.

I worked at the student tech center my whole duration of college. Funny enough, I was promoted to a senior role after being there a year. The one thing (among others) that experience taught me was that you can’t succeed if you don’t try. Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to get what you want. If you want it, go get it. The feeling of accomplishment is so worth it. Worst comes to worst they can tell you no, but you never know until you try. I think for my next profession, I’ll become a successful writer, who knows 😉

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