Lessons Learned Along the Way: A Pregame Intern’s Recap

Pregame Internship

It’s crazy to think that my (almost) 3 months here at Pregame are up, but alas, the time has come. As I am preparing to head back to school, I can’t help but reminisce on these past few months and the unimaginable experience that I have had this summer as Pregame’s intern.

Bottom line: I have had the most rewarding, fulfilling, informative, motivating, and fruitful summer and it is almost all by virtue of my time here at Pregame HQ. I just want to thank Pregame for this summer spent growing and learning in an involuntary capacity that I have never quite experienced until now. Thank you Pregame, I am forever grateful.

For my final article as the official 2019 Pregame Summer Intern, I thought that I would recap on some of the lessons that I have learned along the way. 

No job is too small. 

While this may be the most cliché intern lesson, unless you have interned, you really can’t fully grasp this idea. Whenever someone asked me what it was that I did at Pregame as the summer intern, I found myself rambling, “a little of this and a little of that with a media and marketing concentration” (basically, everything and anything asked of me).

Whether I was coming up with content for the socials or erasing white boards, each task proved to be equally as important as the next. I can confidently attest to the fact that completing each task with determination and diligence will not go unnoticed and ultimately contributes to the others perceptions of your esteem.

What are you hustling for? 

I like to be busy. I weirdly relish the feeling of being beat-tired at the end of each day during the work week from thing to overload my days to the brim. It’s this strange sensation that I feel like only my fellow busy-bodies will understand, an almost-buzz from never slowing down. However, this buzz, as is the case with most sensations, is followed by a crash. A big, meltdown-esque crash. It never occurred to me that perhaps this method of working to the point of burnout, letting myself freak out, then pulling it together to do it all over again until the next time was not only unhealthy, but also perhaps the least productive lifestyle. 

After reading Pregame member Lori Eberly’s book, Fuckery, this phrase stood out from the others: “mistaking activity as accountability.” It finally dawned on me that I was trying to be in a constant state of hustling for the sake of hustling. I never stopped to ask myself, “What am I hustling for?” 

Just because I am busy doesn’t mean that I am being productive.

Here is a friendly reminder: Being busy is not the badge of honor that we make it out to be. 

Mind you, I am not saying that I am abandoning the hustle all together. I think that hustling is crucial to getting things done. But I am saying that my perspective has shifted. After talking with Eberly, as well as listening in on Home Teams in which members are asked to explicitly vocalize their goals, I can confidently say that defining what you are working towards significantly improves your productivity in the long run. Being able to define what it is exactly that I am hustling for eliminates all the other noise and in the process, frees up time that I may have been definitely was wasting before. 

Community & Collaboration

As someone who prefers to just put my head down and grind out my work sans study groups or colleagues, it was refreshing to watch as the groups came together to collaborate with one another to create Pregame’s positive and constructive environment. Perhaps this may be somewhat obvious for most people, but as someone who can easily get caught up in the daily grind, the benefits of community and collaboration showcased itself in more ways than one. 

The mere structure of Pregame classes has taught me this lesson. Pregame structures its Home Team as a weekly accountability mastermind group. If that doesn’t just scream collaborative community of badass individuals, I don’t know what does. Maybe this wasn’t necessarily something that I learned for the first time, but it served as a healthy reminder that the first step to setting yourself up for success is making sure that you are accountable for your goals no matter how big or small they are. What better way to be held accountable than being in community with others who share similar ambitions and motivations?

Find your community whether it is Pregame, mentors, study groups, and collaborate with them because we can’t do it by ourselves 100% of the time. Find your team people, find your team. 

Take criticism. Be teachable.

Big intern lesson right here. I think that receiving criticism or feedback can be hard to hear, regardless of who it comes from or the topic in question. Receiving feedback can be beyond helpful if we just let ourselves accept the situation for what it is: a teaching moment. As soon as our mentality switches from thinking feedback equates to “failure” to thinking of feedback as an opportunity, is when we are more receptive to what is being given and can allow ourselves to learn. If you are going to get corrected, you might as well learn something out of it. 

Networking has enormous power. 

Flashback to three months ago: I don’t think I had ever attended an event where my sole intention was networking. In fact, it pains me to admit that the thought of networking, in a strictly professional sense, had yet to ever cross my mind.

While at Pregame, I attended various events, happy hours, luncheons, and meetings, all of which involved networking in some form. Because of these invaluable networking opportunities, I committed to doing everything in my power to get the absolute most that I could out of them.

As I am writing this, I wholeheartedly believe it: networking has immeasurable potential. 

I like to think that it is one of those things that the more you put in, the more you get out. I have met some incredible people who have changed the trajectory of my career goals and aspirations, whether they know it or not.

I knew that networking was important, but I guess that I didn’t know how important it could be.  The potential of networking is that you have to be willing to put in the time and effort to get the rewards, but when you do, there is no telling what they may be. 

Be curious. 

My father used to say to me (actually, he still does), “Always be curious.” As I am rounding out my time here at Pregame, I think that this saying stands out as a mantra that rings true in my life. 

I didn’t fully realize that this mantra had manifested itself into being an integral part of who I am until I sat down to write this. 

Personally, I want to be someone that is always eager to challenge myself to grow more whether that be professionally, emotionally, socially, or even physically. In order to create this idealistic culture of being a lifelong student, we have to be curious. We have to want to know: Why? How? Who? When? 

This summer, it didn’t matter if I was receiving feedback on a project or attending a networking event where I knew absolutely no one, I had to be curious if I wanted to get anything out of the situation. You have to be curious in order to learn. 

As I continue forward with my studies and eventually, my career, I hope to carry with me this hunger to remain a lifelong learner.

And just like that, my time here at Pregame is done. 

Thank you for an experience that I will take with me forever.

Thank you Ciara Pressler, ultimate Girl Boss, inspiration, and all-around badass. 

Game On. 

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