Realizing My Greatest Weakness

Recently, I had an interview for a very competitive internship. I’m going to say now: I didn’t get it, but I think I came close. Anyway, when I found out that I had made it to the interview stage, I started to panic. I hadn’t had a job interview in almost a year! What do I expect?! How can I prepare in just a few hours!? As so many of us do in our time of need, I turned to Google. I found some sample questions, and thought of how I would respond to them.

One of the questions that popped up was “what is your greatest weakness?” At the time, I had no idea how I would answer that question. It’s a good thing that didn’t come up in the interview, because I don’t know how I would have answered if it had. Now that I’ve found out that I didn’t get the internship, I can answer with the utmost confidence that my greatest weakness is that I take on too much, say yes to everything, and sometimes I find myself with too much on my plate (both figuratively and literally, to be honest).

All of this has really hit me today. A couple weeks ago, I applied last-minute to study abroad for J-term in Ireland. I found it to cover my Global Awareness credits, travel to a country that I’ve been wanting to go to since I was in middle school, and (since it’s a journalism-based course), I’ll be able to do another thing I enjoy doing and would love to get better at. Plus, it’ll beef up my portfolio to a whole new level.

The problem that caused hesitation was that it would overlap with the internship by 11 days. I knew it was a very competitive internship, and the chances of actually getting it on the first try were slim to none, but after the interview and receiving the email today from the team, I never thought I would come as close as [I think] I did to actually getting it. Maybe one of the tipping points was Ireland. Maybe another tipping point was the fact that I haven’t been able to do a lot of radio stuff since the Fall Semester of my Sophomore year. A third and final hit could have been that I don’t focus on radio much in the summer; or that I had to leave the Great Northern Radio Show because I knew I wanted to march.

No matter what, something came up that deemed me not quite ready for a prestigious internship. And I’m determined that the next time I apply (which looks like it’ll be for the Fall internship), it’ll be impossible to say no. Impossible to look at my application versus someone else and they are more qualified than I am. Maybe it’s extreme, maybe it’s harsh, but I came to Columbia and to Chicago for a reason — to be able to do what I love — and this internship would certainly propel me in that direction.

Until then, it’s time to keep chugging along. I’m still running, I’m still planning on marching for my third season with Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps, and I’m excited for other things to come. Just because this door has closed for now doesn’t mean it’s locked. Stay with us.


Author: erikabunk

Raised in Northern Minnesota. BA in Radio/Business & Entrepreneurship. Painfully average marathoner. Spends too much time on Spotify, in search of the best record store in the world, and dreams of returning to Reykjavík.

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