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Sunday, April 30, 2017

The World’s Oldest Intern

Earlier this week I completed a semester long internship.

I can now say that I am very thankful for having had the experience.

Now here’s the shameful part where I admit that I tried almost everything to get out of doing it.

When that didn’t work I decided to avoid this particular graduation requirement and hoped it would go away.

Image result for bury head in sand

Procrastination almost never results in progress. So, I finally started applying to internships at various museums last fall.

It quickly became evident on numerous application forms that the intern review departments were expecting 20 something year old students.

I mean why else would they give you just one line under the subject of “List All Previous Employment”?

One line is not going to cut it when you have 30+ years of work experience under your belt.

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I finally got an interview in early January. I dressed my best and showed up early.

My interviewer looked as though she had graduated high school the year before.

Not once did she meet my eyes.

She simply flipped through my paperwork and said, “Wow, you have an amazing resume. So much EXPERIENCE! But yeah, I don’t think there is anything we can teach you in this internship. Perhaps you should look elsewhere.”

Reading between the lines the message was clear:

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I rose from my chair and put out my hand to thank her for her time. Again, she averted her eyes.

I blame the following outburst on the fact that I had forgotten to take my Geritol that morning. (snicker)

I just couldn’t let it go…..

I said, “I feel so sorry for you...” At that, she finally looked at me.

I continued on “I wake up every morning excited at the prospect of new experiences. Each day is filled with wonderful opportunities for learning something new if I keep my mind, heart and eyes open.

I took a deep breath…

“And sometimes, if it’s a really great day, I get to share my experience with someone else who is just as eager to learn. I’m sorry that you think I have nothing left to learn but sorrier still that you think I have nothing to offer you.”

Then I turned and left. My work was done.

Image result for you got schooled

I proceeded to have a panic attack in the parking lot.

What if I never got an internship?

I was never going to graduate!!!

Image result for breathing into a paper bag

I had another interview a few days later.

There may or may not have been some desperate begging on my part.

But it came out humorously and if you can make people laugh….

I got the internship.

To be honest, I felt like this on my first day:


But I showed up every day, on time, sober, and actually did my work instead of constantly calling my boyfriend or scrolling thru my Instagram feed. (Yeah, I heard a few intern horror stories… :)

After 15 years of working primarily by myself it was nice to be part of a team once again.


I’m also happy to report that I learned more than a thing or two. The behind the scenes look at all that must occur to keep a non profit museum running is truly fascinating.

I hope I remember this the next time I find myself trying to avoid a new experience simply because of fear of the unknown.

Thank you to my awesome mentor Kristine and the rest of the “ Cowgirl Staff” for such an amazing experience. It turned out better than I could have ever hoped for.

I now have just one class left to complete. Just 9 short weeks are left. I’m not sure what lies ahead for me, but I am happily marching on.


How do you feel about new experiences?


“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” ~ Isaiah 43:19

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” ~ Proverbs 3


Jeanie said...

New experiences. Scary, a leap of faith, but more often than not, so very worth it.

I was an older student when I returned to grad school as well (not quite as old but no post-grad kid!). What was interesting in internships was that I was treated as a peer with things to bring to the table as well as things to learn. Best of all, I ended up full time in my boss' job a few years later and stayed there another 32 years! It doesn't always work that way, but I was fortunate.

Your words are a good reminder for anyone hiring an intern and I'm glad you shared them with us -- and with Buffy Intern Coordinator. I hope she realized she did have something to learn from you!

The Boston Lady said...

Oh I love this post!!! I love new experiences and often feel like the world' s oldest teenager since I still feel like I haven't fully grown up yet.

I could totally relate to everything you wrote and cheered when you spoke your mind to that first interviewer.

Thanks for the reminder to approach each day as a new adventure-you are inspiring! I needed that today! Ann

ImagiMeri said...

You are and always have been a class act! Love you.

Michele said...


And was that ever a neat and nifty post.

I am proud of you.

Well done - and these next 2 months will go sooooo fast - and then whoo hoo, you've accomplished the goal you set out to do! YAY!!!

Hugs. ♥

ellen b. said...

Congratulations on the completion of your internship! I enjoyed reading your post about some of your experience in the whole process...

Louise said...

I laughed aloud several times reading this. My mouth also fell open a couple times. Well done.

Kelly said...

Good for you! I loved the speech you gave that girl interviewing you for an internship! You were brave to say that but I don't blame you. Good luck with everything going forward.

Bonnie said...

Good for you, Laura! What you said was perfect and the girl will live to appreciate every word.

I went back to school to renew my teaching certificate after 20 years of raising kids. I was among a few others my age doing the same thing but most of them were fresh out of high school. Eager to learn I sat in the front rows and made all A's in those 18 hours of classes. I didn't make all A's as a first time student. Age and experience are good teachers.

Kiki Nakita said...

You're almost there, YAY!

Stacey said...

Love this account of your experience Laura and I can relate!

Several years ago, I went back to school to add on to the Masters degree I already had. The professor took one look at me and said, "What are you doing here?" I was mortified but stuck it out. It's always worth it when you get to learn.

You undoubtedly taught them plenty and they were lucky to have you there.

The other day I saw a news story about a woman who just got her Ph.D. at 90+. :)

Blondie's Journal said...

You always make me smile at the way you make the hardest things thrown our way something to laugh and at and pull up our panties. What you said to this girl is awesome, Laura. Yay! I wish you all the best and wow...9 more weeks!!!!!!!!

I was recently hired by a newspaper I so wanted to write for. They didn't 'get' my proposal and strung me along for weeks. I kept age, my lack of experience in the publishing world. Finally I was given the chance and I think I've shown them that there are a lot of surprises out there for the employers who want to take a leap of faith.

Jane x

Linda said...

Laura, You're the BEST!!! ♥ Love the way you embrace life and even your little outburst (which, to me, the interviewer, was deserving of). Congratulations on all of your many achievements!! You blow me out the water really in that area because all I'm doing is finishing up my working career and taking care of the parents and somewhat taking care of the home, but mostly goofing off in between for stress relief.

Anyway, your experiences though remind me of this past year when I was helping my husband (who thought he was going to lose his job all of a sudden at 60 years old). It was a similar experience with many of his applications - all of them really. People look down on someone applying at age 60 (despite the fact that he had more experience than all of those people).

Love, Linda

Carol Stebner said...

What a great post, Laura! You are almost to the finish line....YAY!
Hugs, Carol

Just Ducky said...

Good for you for speaking your mind. The young lady interviewing you should go back to school - the school etiquette!

Mary in Peoria Handmade said...

Oh my goodness I love this honest- open- real- post! I am 69 today and needed this. I love being this age and enjoy your sense of humor! So happy you were able to experience that particular internship. Best wishes, mary in Az

Lorrie said...

Your words to that young girl were PERFECT, Laura! And I love new experiences, although I'm usually terrified at the beginning and have to really force myself in to some things. But I'm (most) always glad I did.

The Lord will have something for you, Laura, and His ways are often very different from what we imagine. May the Lord grant you the desires of your heart.

Eilis said...

Obviously I'm playing catch up on blog reading. Love this post! I went back to college to be a teacher as a second career, so I did my student teaching under younger mentors. I can definitely relate.

Rue said...

Good for you, Laura. I hope that sticks with her.