This past semester I have been interning with Philadelphia Magazine in their art department. One of the biggest take-aways I recieved from my time there was conquering my shyness.

I am a very shy girl, or I should say was, I was a very shy girl. But I knew how important making connections with professionals was to a college graduate on the search for her first “real” job, so I decided I would push myself out of my comfort zone during my time with Philly mag.

I would say good morning to everyone in my department, ask them how thier week-ends were, would they like to get coffee with me? These may seem like little pointless gestures, but they played a huge role in creating a great internship experience. By asking these questions I got to know the wonderful people in my department. Having created these friends within the department, my job there was so much more enjoyable. And when the job I am doing is enjoyable I do it a whole lot better. Because I felt more comfortable around the people I was working with, I asked them more questions, I asked for more work, and overall, I learned more from my experience there.

Not only did I force myself out of my comfort zone, but the duties I had as an art intern there also helped me get over my shyness. One of my dutie as an intern with the art department was calling in art. Basically, I had to contact Press representatives requesting high-resolution images that we could run in our magazine. Requesting these images via e-mail was easy; following-up with someone who refused to get back to me via phone was not so easy, at first.

I am, I should say, I was, the type of shy girl who would have her boyfriend order the Chinese food over the phone. I got nervous on the phone for some reason. What if I sounded stupid? What if I didn’t know an answer to one of their questions? Plus, I sounded like I was 12 over the phone. Who could take a 12 year-old seriously over the phone?

The first call I made at Philly mag was scary ( this sounds stupid, I know, but I couldn’t help it. ) I took a deep breath and when a voice answered on the other end of the line, I read off a very unfluid answer I had scripted and written down in preparation for the call. The second and third times I had to call, I did the same, but after that I was good to go.

Getting over my shyness is a big deal to me. It will really help me with job interviews, meeting professionals, and beyond. I mean, I can even order my own chinese food now.