Pretending to Be Brave

My supervisor, Catalina, has been one of the most supportive figures during my summer internship in Bucharest, Romania. Not only has she nourished my growth in the industry, but she has also made an incredible impact in my personal life. From the very first moment that I met her, Catalina radiated confidence and poise in everything she did. It truly amazed me to witness her tackle challenging tasks as well as handle demanding clients. She takes an interest in my well being, and we often talk about our childhood, lives, and future. I briefly spoke to her about my fears and doubts, and she gave me words of wisdom I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Catalina: What if I told you that this entire time, I was only pretending to be confident?

Me: Then I guess you would be a very great actress.

Catalina: What if I told you that when I am given a challenging project, I am anxious and afraid of failing? What if I am only pretending to be courageous? Would that make my courage and confidence any less real to those around me? Of course not. I am the only one who knows that my bravery is a facade, but to my superiors and those who depend on me, they see only the image I project. When I was 20-years-old, I pretended to be a confident woman, even though on the inside, I knew I was just a scared young girl. Over time, I handled my problems proactively instead of reactively, and soon, being brave was the only thing I knew how to do. When you act like you’re brave, even when you’re not, then you are already halfway there.

These words stuck with me for the rest of my internship. When I was offered sole responsibility for the promotion of the company’s newest project, I was petrified of accepting something I believed I wasn’t ready for. Following Catalina’s advice, I embraced this challenge and gained many professional and personal experiences. Although I lacked technical knowledge, I had the ability and the will to learn new things. I overcame my doubts and realized that I could become anything I wanted to be. Sometimes, pretending to be brave and being brave is the same thing.

2 thoughts on “Pretending to Be Brave

  • August 17, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Hi Kim,

    My name is Josh, and I’m one of the coaches from the LSA Opportunity Hub who, along with one of our student interns, will be reading and commenting on your blog throughout the course of your internship experience. Thanks for sharing this initial post!

    Catalina’s advice is such an important piece to internalize as you work through your professional journey. Taking risks and leaps of faith are part of growing as a person and as a professional – I’m so glad that you were able to take this lesson to heart, and that it has already started paying dividends. I really encourage you to take the time to reflect on the specific skills that you are building as you’re tackling these new experiences, and to think about how those skills can be applied across different roles and industries – being able to articulate your experience in the context of skills can really help maximize your marketability for the future.

    I’m looking forward to reading more!


  • August 21, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Hi Kim!

    My name is Shaina and I’m an intern at the Hub. Thank you so much for sharing about the beginning of this exciting experience!

    As an intern like yourself I was inspired by Catalina’s advice as well! She seems like an amazing mentor to have during this experience and after. I completely agree with Josh as well, taking risks and “pretending to be brave” is how you grow in your role professionally and even individually! Starting from birth we are taking risks and leaping to accomplish new tasks.

    I am so excited to continue reading about your internship experience in Romania!



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