Busting out of the box

Sep 03 2015

Sara Peach's motto, "You get ONE idea," is what has really resonated with me this past week especially during the sprint!

Associate director Sara Peach’s motto, “You get ONE idea,” is what has really resonated with me this past week, especially during the sprint! Photo by Mariah Barksdale.

I love being interviewed. Speaking under palpable pressure, opening up about myself to someone new, putting myself on the line – I thrive off of it. It is one of my favorite things to do. I know that it is weird; interviews are typically the bane of most people’s existence (my friends who have recently graduated can attest), yet they are so much fun to me. I feel an overwhelming sensation of comfort during interviews, and I actually get giddy when thinking about them.

That being said, my Reese News Lab interview was quite literally the worst interview I have ever had.

I am serious. It was the worst.

Last May, I walked up to the third floor of Carroll Hall, adrenaline pulsing through my veins. I have wanted to work with the Lab for the last three years and now it was my chance! I was finally in a room with executive director John Clark and associate director Sara Peach; I had to kill this interview. I walked in the room and sat down. I felt electric.

Everything was fine at first, with typical interview questions and talking about my past experiences. Then, John said, “Tell us about a time you solved a problem creatively.”

I have never been so thrown off in an interview in my life. I do not remember my immediate reaction, but I would not be surprised if I just stared at them wide-eyed and with my jaw dropped. A time I solved something creatively? I began to frantically search my brain for any and all moments in my life when I solved something. Dreading not sounding creative enough, I began to panic. There was a moment of silence that felt like eons. I knew I had to say something, so I just threw out a time that I solved an issue with my theater organization. It was most likely gibberish, and I knew then that the interview was over. I would not be offered the position, that was for sure. I dejectedly walked out of Carroll, and days after the interview, I beat myself up for answering the question so poorly and for leading the most uncreative life of all time.

By some miracle from the Heavens, however, I received an email from John, and I am now a fall intern at Reese. After my first week in the Lab, meeting this amazing, diverse, eccentric group of interns, and doing a sprint, when fellow interns and I designed and pitched an app in just a few days, I now laugh at how freaked out I became from feeling as though I was not creative enough. By working with Caroline Lamb and Wesley Hitson in the last week, I realized “not creative enough” is just not a thing in the Lab, and really, in life. From brainstorming with them these past few days and creating an innovative pitch for our app, iWitness, I quickly realized that creativity should not be overthought. We just spit out ideas, supported each other and were open to anything and everything.

Not seeming creative enough used to scare me. Working with Wesley and Caroline removed that fear completely. Our think tank, our collaboration – that is what fueled me this week. I am excited and anxious to see how our creativity will proliferate in the next semester. With just one week at Reese News Lab, it is not enough to say we have grown comfortable thinking outside of the box.

We have busted right out of it.


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