Feelings of Inadequacy as a Young Professional & How I Learned to Trust in Myself

The first day of my senior year was my first day at Merz Branding.

The first day of my senior year was my first day at Merz Branding. I was offered the position as an Account Management Intern earlier that August and accepted without hesitation. I had traveled to the office in Media, PA the week prior for my interview and the close-knit community they had built in their office was evident. I couldn’t wait to get started.

Having just finished a summer internship in Account Management at Digitas Health, I felt I was qualified and well-prepared for this role I was about to take on at Merz. I had the knowledge of how an agency functioned, how to manage client relationships, and the general project process that many agencies follow. What I was not anticipating was the drastic differences between the two companies.

Digitas was a large agency, while the Merz team was made up of about eleven members. 

Digitas was a pharmaceutical agency, while Merz enlisted a wide-range of consumer clients.

Digitas assigned one client per team, while Merz assigned around a dozen per team.

Despite recognizing some of these contrasts when first researching Merz, my first day was when the realization set in. Everything at Merz was different.

I am typically a person to embrace change, yet, having just started my professional career, this change was intimidating. I felt out of place and incapable. The team dynamic was distinctly different and I couldn’t find my place in the midst of it.

My perception of this change quickly shifted when my two supervisors enlisted my help. They began delegating tasks to me, from creating social calendars to proofing projects, and demonstrated their trust in my capacity to do so. Their trust in me was all I needed to trust myself. Merz was different from what I knew, but different does not translate to inadequacy. 

I adapted to my new environment and learned all the things I appreciated about this small, women-owned agency. The Merz team was tight-knit, efficient, and welcoming. I was exposed to an incredible amount of exciting projects and learned from a team of talented people. They taught me so much, but I also taught myself an incredibly important lesson. I taught myself that I am capable of adjusting to new environments and, most importantly, to trust in myself and my abilities.

My skills were not lost in my transition from Digitas to Merz, and what I didn’t know, I learned. I am grateful for my time at Merz and the diverse agency experience it provided me with. Going forward in my career, I will always remember one thing – trust in yourself.

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