January 24, 2014#

The Pathway to Greatness

I’ve always loved San Antonio. My family and I used to vacation here every February and some summers. Being from a small valley town (7.6 square miles in size to be exact), I loved waiting for the “little man” to light up so I could walk across the busy downtown street. I loved taking the boat down the river, walking through Hemisfair Park and staring up at the Tower of Americas in awe, wondering why we didn’t have cool stuff like that back home.

Fast forward twelve years and I’m sitting behind a desk on the 10th floor of the Weston Centre looking out at my favorite vacation spot. It takes everything in me not to squeal in excitement every five minutes, although if you ask the lovely ladies who sit beside me, I’m probably not doing a very good job at that. Here’s hoping they don’t reconsider the decision they made to bring me on as an intern this semester.

I am a third year public relations student at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Truth be told, I fell into PR accidentally. In high school I was very involved in band, theatre and media technology—all classes that allowed me to experience the joys of performing. When I graduated, I knew I wanted to be a broadcast journalist—and I was going to rock at it!

In June 2011, I sat with an advisor at UTSA with a lump in my throat as we discussed my options. I looked around at the large room full of future reporters, engineers, architects and doctors and thought – I am so small. Maybe not exactly in those words, but you get the idea. Sitting in that chair as the girl who always got the part, my high school band’s drum major and a nominee for “Best All Around” as a senior class favorite, I’d never felt so insignificant.

“Well, you know we don’t have a journalism degree plan here,” the advisor said. “What do you want to do?”

I looked at the three Communication concentrations that they offered. I don’t remember how or why, but at some point I must have chosen public relations because…well, here I am, interning with Sammis & Ochoa and more than halfway through my degree plan—and thank the good Lord, because I have awful performance anxiety and probably would have realized how wrong broadcast journalism was for me at some point. Sometimes plans change, and you don’t end up where you thought you would. I couldn’t feel more blessed for that.

I am a 21-year-old trying to figure out the balance between fun and professionalism. I am thrilled and terrified to be here all at the same time. It’s exciting to be a small town girl in a big city. I’m involved at school, I meet professionals in the industry all the time, and I’m interning at a firm and with people for whom I am already so grateful. This is the stuff movies are made of. All the deleted scenes are just as important though. It’s acceptable to take a risk, it’s okay to fail, and it’s ok to be intimidated sometimes. This is one huge learning experience for me, and for all you youngins out there who are in the same boat as me, here’s my advice: Take your failures, your successes, your downfalls and your wishes, and make something worthwhile out of them. Learn from them. Be proud of them, because it’s not easy trying to get your foot in the door, make the grade, find love, work a job, and keep your sanity all at the same time.

I am so blessed to be interning with Sammis & Ochoa this semester. Everyone is so welcoming and eager to help me learn. Most of all, they believe that “failure is the pathway to embracing greatness.” I don’t think there is a statement that better encompasses what it’s like to be a young professional trying to make a name for yourself. It’s all about learning what works and doesn’t, making mistakes and correcting them, and finding your niche. If you get to do that somewhere with people who make you happy and embrace your mistakes with you, you’ve already won.

And if you get an awesome view of your favorite place in the world while you’re at it…well, that’s cool, too.

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