Now that I’m almost half way through my internship, I’ve had time to process and think about everything that’s happened.
First, I moved to Los Angeles, California from Tulsa, Oklahoma for my internship with the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment. Second, I’ve had to reassess my identity every week, for I always thought I had my identity as an Asian-American figured out, but this internship has made me realize otherwise. Third, I’ve been lucky to be placed at the Office of the California State Controller, Betty Yee, through the CAUSE Leadership Academy, and it’s been a rewarding experience so far.
I think the one thing I’m most surprised by with my internship experience so far is how comfortable I feel on the West Coast. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I have, because the moodiness of the East Coast always appealed to me. That fast-paced way of life, of the rushing/walking and the cold, windy weather made me feel at home. But the West Coast is different. It’s a slower way of life, a less rushed way of life. I see it in the way people work as well. My colleagues and supervisors are incredibly thoughtful, intelligent, hard-working, and goal-oriented people, but they help the other interns and me every chance they get. They feel the need to give back to us, without make it feel like some sort of charity. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, enthralled, confused, and mostly, happy about my time in this internship so far. Though a lot of the times I’m doing mundane, political office work, I’m reminded every day by my opportunity to even be here of how lucky I am.