This reader (and intern!) success story by Maria Arthur is a part of You Can Do It Week. Maria shares what she learned while interning at FBG and why she now considers herself a true FBG. Read all of the motivating and inspiring posts here!
My name is Maria Arthur and I worked as an intern for Fit Bottomed Girls this summer (see one of my posts here!). As a Journalism student and Communication Studies and Spanish major I was pressed to find a good internship where I would be able to further advance the skills I already had in the right direction.
Before meeting with my advisor, I had never heard of Fit Bottomed Girls and was intrigued. I would be working with a gal named Jennipher Walters, doing tasks for her on the computer — mainly online duties. After meeting Jennipher, I agreed to give this summer a shot.
It wasn’t long before I realized how impressive this woman really was. She graduated from one of the best, if not the top, Journalism schools in the country (University of Missouri), co-founded an organization with a huge following (before she turned 30!) and recently wrote a book for Random House.
It may seem weird to mention this, but I want you to understand how intimidating I thought working for Jennipher would be. I was working for a lady who had already accomplished much of what most Communication Studies students dream of doing.
Scary? Not So Much
When I first entered Jennipher’s house I was greeted by a fluffy girl named Sienna, as well as Jennipher (who was wearing comfy, everyday clothes — total relief). Although I was nervous, I soon came to realize that even a 25-year-old student could help a health, fitness and journalism guru like Jenn; and it was then that she became “Jenn” to me.
I started out doing projects to ease navigation on Fit Bottomed Girls, but eventually started reviewing food and workout DVDs. Jenn let me focus on skills I wanted to improve and expressed a real desire to help me become a better writer. I spent the summer editing posts, as well, and soon learned the writing styles of Tish, Karen, Kristen, Erin and Margo. Man, that was a blast.
I quickly learned that writing for an online website is way different than writing for a school where everything has to be proper with no personal communication. (Fall 2013, my next, and last, semester’s writing will seem pretty boring after writing for FBG!) Writing for FBG was an amazing experience and I came to love the site and the gals I worked with, especially Jenn. Nowhere in any handbook or internship packet does it mention that my boss has to help me with more than my “in the office skills,” but she did.
More Than a Boss
This summer was the hardest I ever remember. My dog, Panda, who had been my baby, my sister and my friend for 14 years, was dying. I admit freely that I have emotional issues that hinder my ability to cope with situations in a way that the average person would, and when I decided to end her pain (she was constantly hurting) and let her go to heaven (after all, all dogs go to heaven), my world shattered.
I thought that I would be stuck in bed for a year, and I felt like shutting out the world. But instead of doing that, I took my days one day at a time, starting with the Dirty Girl Mud Run. (Side note: I doubt that many, if any, interns can say that part of their work was to do a mud run, which was hard because I put Panda down just the day before; but I assure you the Dirty Girl Mud Run was a blast.)
I had never had anyone so close to me die — Panda was not just a pet to me; she was my family. And once again, Jenn understood. When I was working, I would randomly stop and get on the floor with Siena just because I needed to love on a dog. Jenn never questioned me and constantly showed her support in all aspects of my life.
Looking to the Future
I am an unmarried 20-year-old woman, so yes, I have major boy issues, and like all college students I’m sometimes very nervous and anxious about my future. All I do is study, go to class and work; what the heck am I gonna do with all my free time? Can I find my dream job? What am I going to do about health insurance? Will I discover what I am meant to do? But by taking one day at a time I found that looking too far ahead can cripple you in the present. I once read that life is a lot like laundry.
“For example let’s say… that you are surrounded with a mountain of
laundry piled so high around your feet that you can’t move…. assume you
don’t have a washing machine, so you have to wash everything individually
by hand. You would be at a loss for what to do… it might be a good idea
to start washing the laundry right at your feet… it’s important to think about
what lies ahead but if you only look down the road you’ll get all tangled in
the laundry at your feet and fall…it’s also important to think about what you
can do now, what you can do today. And if you keep washing things one at
a time you’ll be done before you know it.”
If I take this quote into consideration along with everything I have learned in college and working for FBG, well, I know I am going to be OK. So, I wanted to give my many thanks to all the wonderful women who work for FBG who made me a better writer and editor.
However, I want to give a special shout out to Jenn, who was always there for me, teaching me all kinds of wonderful things. Jennipher Walters was more than just my boss. Somewhere along the way she became my mentor, my inspiration and my friend. Thank you, Jenn.
And a huge thanks to all the readers out there who make FBG, FBM and FBE possible; none of these sites would be anything without you supporting us. You might hear from me again as a guest writer reviewing something for you every now and then, but as this summer comes to a close, as does my internship, I realize I will always be a Fit Bottomed Girl.
Thank you, thank you and thank you again. —Maria