Dancing for the Audience • 10.11.14
I finally got an internship secured for the summer. It’s such a big sigh of relief that I had a moment of, “Wow, now I can stop giving a fuck.” And we know it’s not true because I’m still a somewhat newly crowned 2L, so I still have most of TWO years to keep me in check. But. For. Now. It’s nice that I can stop my dancing monkey act. It’s nice that, for the rest of this school year, I will not have to spend countless hours going to different firm’s networking events in hopes that I will say that perfect phrase to the perfect ears to leave a “oh, I’m so witty that you need to have me around” impression.
Last year’s attempt at finding an internship was such a disaster that I ended up tears. As I may have mentioned in a previous post, I had an offer from one of the large firms here to go work for them, but I would have to move to a part-time schedule. That was something I didn’t want to do because I’ve waited so long for the chance to go back to school, that I was jealously guarding my law school experience as “MINE!” So I waited, and applied to an internship at firm #2, and it looked like I was going to get it, but then the firm decided against hiring two interns so I was dropped from the race because the other candidate simply had more experience. At that point, I went back to the first big firm, and they had already hired someone while I was waiting to hear from firm #2. My friend broke the bad news to me, and he tried to cheer me up, telling me things will work out. And I remember telling him, “I know things will work out, because I have been very blessed in my life that even when things don’t seem to go well, it ended up being for the best, but right this moment, I just lost two great opportunities that I was so close to getting. I am upset, and I want to cry over it for a moment.” So I cried. And I collected myself. I focused my energy on applying to many other places. I got an offer at very small firm, but the owner wanted at least a two years commitment to which I had to decline. After all that effort going up in flames, I decided to work on making myself a more attractive candidate come 2L year. I decided to focus on studying for and applying to take the patent bar.
Things did work out for the best. I’m scheduled to take the patent bar exam in late November. I went into OCI with the ability to say, “Yes, I am definitely taking the patent bar exam, because I have been studying for it all summer, and I am scheduled to take it on this date.” My OCI interviewer told me that was good news because their firm wanted to know my commitment to patent work, and signing up for the exam is a big step in that direction. I got a callback from that interview to go in for a 3 hours long interview where I met someone new every half hour, and even though 3 hours sounded like I a long time, the interview went by quickly and I was almost in a “but I’m not done chatting with people” mindset. Three weeks later, I figured I had lost the internship and I haven’t heard back yet because I was 3rd or 4th choice, and they were just waiting for confirmations from their top 2. Then I got a call while I was leaving my study group, and I all I heard out of the conversation was, “We would like to extend an offer for internship to you…blah blah blah…market rate pay…blah blah.” Whatever he said, my response was something like, “Yeah, yeah, don’t care, I’m just very happy for this opportunity to join your firm.” I would have moved to Po’dunkville if it meant getting the job. Then I got the offer letter by email and saw that the internship was for the firm located 7 blocks from my condo and they were paying $2500 a week. My mind exploded. The internship pays more than double what I was making as a game programmer (granted I’ve always said game programmers for development houses are paid peanuts). Knowing how much they pay their interns does put the pressure on that I don’t walk in without knowing a single thing, thus I am grateful for having my summer studying the patent bar and my 2L year taking every IP class that I can to prepare myself. Everything worked out for the best. If only I could find a time machine to go back to tell my applying-to-law-school self that everything will work out, and that it will not be a complete waste of my time and money, during a time when I felt like I was too old to waste anymore time and I was scared of wasting my family’s money.
I’m grateful I get to spend the rest of the year preparing to be a useful intern and not focus on networking to get that internship. I like people. Networking, when I don’t think of it as networking, comes to me naturally. It’s just when I am hard up for an internship, I feel like I’m doing such a “look at me, look at me” dance, that it’s just not my thing. It’s good to going back to dancing like there’s nobody watching.