I realized it was time to grow up, so I got an internship.

It was not what I expected at first. I thought I’d show up and someone would tell me what to do.

Let me give you a little synopsis of what an unpaid internship is like. What you get out of it is completely up to you.

Nobody tells you what to do because they don’t care about you, because they aren’t paying you. If you don’t learn, they don’t care.  An internship is for you, not them.

My dream is to be a reporter, so I got an internship at a news station.

I showed up on my first day, excited to be put to work. I envisioned myself going out and reporting, and instead, I awkwardly stood there pretending to do something.

I became a master at making my facial expressions look busy. It was intimidating and a little bit scary to be in this new environment around these experienced reporters.

I expected to have a day full of busyness; instead, I did a total of one thing.

The next day came, and I walked in, still intimidated as heck, but I decided to introduce myself to everyone with a smile on my face and a hint of determination in my voice. I immediately asked one of the producers if I could shadow him, and he said yes.

He allowed me to do some work in the news station, and it was nice, but I still felt dissatisfied when I left.

I was still not taking enough initiative. I still didn’t feel accomplished.

The third day approached, and before I walked in, I meditated in my car and prayed for a successful day. I closed my eyes and envisioned myself kicking butt.

Then, I did some positive self-talk. I told myself I could do anything I put my mind to and that if I wanted to be the least bit successful, I would have to step far beyond my comfort zone.

This day was different because my mindset was different. I want to be a reporter, so going out and reporting is what I was going to do.

That morning, I walked up to one of the reporters, introduced myself and asked if I could go out and report with her. This small step of initiative changed my life.

She said yes and immediately put me to work.

It didn’t matter what my abilities were or how experienced I was.

Whatever she asked me to do, I did it. She saw my work ethic and passion, so she grew very willing to teach me.

This changed the course of my internship.

This reporter was so willing to help me, and I learned more in my one month with her than I had my whole life.  I could have just sat in the newsroom everyday and received my internship credit, but instead, I took a risk.

I forced myself to step outside my comfort zone and take initiative. This taught me that God doesn’t just hand us things if we don’t take action. That small and scary step led me to go out and report everyday of my internship with a reporter who has now become a very special mentor to me.

I am now living my dream of being a reporter, and my goals are starting to be a reality.

In life, don’t sit around and wait for your dreams to come true. Take initiative. Take risks. Be a good person. Stay positive.

Put your heart into your endeavors and you’ll be more successful and happy with your career than you ever thought possible.