As Cameron pulled up to the house, she felt her stomach turn a little bit. It was that same nervous feeling she had anytime she stepped on stage with her choir, or when Zach asked her to prom. The anxiety was killing her but she knew what she had to do if she wanted to graduate.
She got out of her car, straightened out her pants, and started for the door.
Deep breaths, she reminded herself.
Cameron was only 16 but she was expected to be an adult already. Her high school required her to start an internship before her senior year in order to graduate.
She’d already met Ann, her mentor, once. She seemed nice but when they met, the situation was a little uncomfortable. Ann works out of her home so most of the meetings she has with clients are in restaurants. The neutral territory for that first meeting was more welcoming than cruising up the long driveway to her house.
Now, she was about to enter the space where her mentor worked, lived, ate, slept, and showered every day. It felt weird, but not in a creepy way. In fact, Cameron was a little excited about this unconventional internship. She didn’t have to wear business clothes like her friends did. She didn’t have to be bored sitting in a stuffy office like her boyfriend. She was free to be herself.
So why couldn’t she be comfortable?
The door creaked open. Ann saw her walking up the driveway and came to meet her with a smile on. The nerves instantly dropped and Cameron knew she’d be okay.
Before work began, Cameron got the full tour. She saw the living room, met the dog, and even got a glimpse into her master bedroom. It was luxurious – the kind of luxury she wanted someday!
If I survive this internship, maybe she’ll hire me and I can live like this in just a few years, she thought.
First things first. Cameron wasn’t there to admire the expensive artwork or fancy flooring. She was there to learn.
The tour ended in Ann’s office. The two women sat down to discuss Cameron’s goals, future, and expectations. This was Cameron’s moment, or so she thought.
As Cameron started chirping on about wanting to learn marketing and get to know more about the industry, Ann shushed her.
What’d I say wrong? She thought. She recoiled a bit into her chair, waiting for Ann to tell her how dumb she was. She expected Ann to discourage her from ever pursuing this career because she could tell she wasn’t cut out for it all.
Ann cleared her throat and began. What Cameron heard was opposite of her expectations.
Cameron didn’t get to pick what she learned. Ann was going to teach her the important stuff. And as the two like-minded souls started brainstorming a new advertising project, Cameron came to life.
This was her calling.
This was her future.
Suddenly all the doubt she felt faded and Cameron felt confident in her skin.
This was what she was made to do – work in an unconventional setting on extraordinary projects her peers only dreamt of getting to tackle.
And as Cameron started coming out of her shell, Ann felt herself recoil a little bit. Was she good enough to teach Cameron? Was she the best person to mentor this creative mind?
With Cameron’s confidence emerging, Ann felt herself slide a little further back into her insecurities, worried that she made a giant mistake. The tables turned.