Subject to Change

By Leah

Unpredictability will be a major theme this year for all of us, and I’ve already gotten my first taste of that in the form of a major change of plans this fall: originally I was going to be on my way to the mountains of North Carolina right now, backpacking and canoeing with Outward Bound for two months. Instead, I’m writing this from my desk and won’t be leaving town for another four weeks. Outward Bound’s NC office announced that it is unable to offer programming this fall, and I’ve been transferred over to their Minnesota office.  

For a few days, I thought that I would be going to MN in September. Then I got another email–they weren’t able to meet all of the requirements to run that program, so I was given the option to transfer again, this time to a program in Big Bend Ranch State Park in Texas. Now I’m planning on being gone from mid October through the first week of December–we’ll spend 50 days backpacking through the desert and canoeing on the Rio Grande. I’ve never been to Texas or spent much time in the Southwest, and I can’t wait to experience such a beautiful part of the country! For now, I’m preparing for this trip by exercising regularly and gradually increasing the distance I can walk with a weighted backpack.  

I’ve been able to extend my internship, and I’ll keep working until I leave in October. When I wrote my last blog post I had just started working with this firm, and after only a month with them I’ve already learned so much. My job, in a nutshell, is to be on call to help a group of associates produce political campaign ads. This usually means scouring the internet for images and videos, or reading through speeches to find quotes. One of the most interesting jobs I’ve had so far was recording and transcribing a call with a client–it was fascinating to listen in and hear how members of our firm went about learning what they need to know to best help this person’s campaign.  

At first I was nervous about starting this internship because it’s completely remote–I was worried about learning to work with people who I’ve never met face-to-face, and starting a job without receiving any in-office training. I’m lucky to work with a team of incredibly nice people, many of whom started out as interns themselves and are always willing to answer questions and explain everything. One of the benefits of my Outward Bound program being pushed back a month is that I’m now able to stay with this firm through the first couple of weeks of October, which is their busiest time of the year. If everything goes as planned, I’ll be in Texas and completely off the grid for all of November and the first week of December–that means not finding out how our clients do in the election until a month after it happens. It’s going to be odd having no idea what’s going on after being so involved for three months, so hopefully I’ll see all good news when I get home! 

 Since I’m not travelling yet, I decided to give myself a bit of a change of scenery by moving my workspace up to the desk in my brother’s room now that he’s away at college. This is where I’ve been doing work for my internship, filling out paperwork for Outward Bound and (fingers crossed) a spring Where There Be Dragons program, and studying Chinese. I’m looking forward to continuing to work on the things that I enjoy and hopefully getting out to Texas in October, but of course, my plans could change completely in the next month. If they do, I’m ready–that’s all just a part of the process this year.