A main obstacle that I encountered a lot during my internship was confrontations. I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve felt as if I was being unfairly compensated, financially and in terms of employee welfare but remained silent due to my fear of confrontation. Many heartaches could have been avoided if I had just spoken up but it simply wasn’t in my culture to, and as such I spent many days seething in resentment.
However, something changed along the way, or perhaps I did.
I began to broach certain subjects with my employer and my program director, and toed the line a couple of times. What I began to realize was that sometimes the line doesn’t exist, and a lot of times it was just me constructing imaginary boundaries that kept me from speaking up. Half the time, my words were heard and actions were taken to resolve certain conflicts.
I’m not a completely different person than I was before, but I am now confident that the person I am now isn’t someone who will just remain silent in situations of injustice or discrimination. Being allowed to speak up and to be heard in an all-American workplace setting has made me see that I should carry this confidence over into my school life at the University of Michigan as well.