On the day of my internship interview for PATTERN, I accidently arrived 25 minutes early. I sat in my car and stressfully scrolled through Instagram for almost half an hour. I feel like this sums me up fairly well as a person: stressfully over prepared, kind of awkward and ready to put my head down and work.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I would fit in amongst PATTERN’s world. Everyone involved with PATTERN seemed very cool, confident, and fashionable in every sense of the word.
I quickly learned that though PATTERN is definitely very cool, it’s also extremely welcoming and even pretty goofy. This is a New-York-City kind of organization that exists in Indianapolis for a reason: it’s home. And though I’m not from the midwest at all, I felt like I fit in.
PATTERN’s internships are very independent, and you have a fair amount of control regarding what you take on. As a journalism intern, I immediately emailed as many creative people as I could about the possibility of interviewing them for a story. I emailed so many people that I kind of hoped some of them wouldn’t respond for the sake of my sanity. Most of them did.
I talked to entrepreneurs and artists of all kinds, from a costume designer to a hip hop artist. I went to Columbus, Indiana by myself to attend a national architecture symposium, I talked to a rock musician in a crowded restaurant before his concert the same night, and I interviewed a renowned NYC photographer on the phone about her inspiring “I Vote Because” project. I tried to say “yes” a lot and then just make it work.
As I did this, a few things started to happen. Firstly, I was doing so many interviews that I quickly became more comfortable with interviewing. And by “comfortable” I mean I still get sweaty and shaky when I interview people, but I know it’ll be just fine.
Secondly, I started to feel constantly inspired by the stories I was hearing. There’s nothing more heartwarming than listening to creative people talk passionately about what they love to do. I talked to a diverse range of people from all backgrounds– people I probably would never have a reason to interact with otherwise. As I left interviews, I felt like I was walking on air. If all these people could find a way to build creative lives, maybe I could too.
By now, I’ve written twenty-something stories for PATTERN’s website, and a tiny bit for the print magazine as well. I’ve formed friendships with the other intern and fellows, helped out on photoshoots and at the launch party, and had quite a bit of fun.
Above all, I’m thankful for the sheer amount of experience I’ve gained during this internship because with experience comes confidence. I don’t know what my future will be like, but now I feel like I’ll be able to handle it – and maybe even without sitting in the parking lot for 25 minutes beforehand.