Loose Ends and Realizations

Yesterday was my last day at GE Healthcare. What a bittersweet moment! As much as I am going to enjoy a couple weeks break from work before band camp starts, I am really going to miss my job and team at GE. It was a bit weird to leave in the middle of the testing phase for my big project. I’m afraid my team won’t know what to do without me if something drastically horrible goes wrong!

I’m going to be honest, though. When I first found out about my job and probably for the first 3 weeks of my internship, it was the honeymoon phase. I loved everything about it. I found a lot of satisfaction in what I was doing and was really fortunate that the project I was assigned was going to make such a huge impact on the operations going on in Asia. I was talking to people from all over the world and I was assigned what seemed like critical responsibilities. I was a bit overwhelmed at moments but I liked that I was an integral part of the team. So integral that my supervisor asked me to stay on board for two extra weeks.

But by the end of it, I was getting jaded. I was working on the same project for almost nine weeks. Maybe if I had a little more task variety I would not have felt so drained when I left work at six o’clock. There were jokes of me staying at GE forever! I laughed along uncomfortably while making internal notes that this would not be the job I would want to have for more than five years. At the end of it all, I realized that working in a huge company is not really my thing. There’s not enough communication and too much chain of command and it doesn’t really feel like a family. I was lucky that my team was small and close-knit but outside of them, I wish I had gotten to know people from other departments.

What’s great about internships is that they can show you what you’re good at and make you realize what you want to do. What I realized is that I am evermore passionate about starting my own company. In the non-profit sector, in particular. I think what made me realize this is how much I am able to handle. I probably sound like I’m bragging or being arrogant writing about this. However when I think about it, I believe I have the work ethic and potential to go out there and make a huge impact. Because if I  was able to not only obtain an internship with a big company like GE but impress the people I worked with, having only two years of undergraduate experience in business administration and not even taking my major classes yet all while living in a foreign country, I think I have the capability inside of me to start my own company, at home in America.

Last year I went through a phase of planning out my entire life. But you know, life never turns out according to plans and I’ve learned to go more with the flow. Upon applying for this program last December here was my plan. Summer 2013, unpaid internship in Hong Kong. With that experience on my resume and more Operations Management courses under my belt for the 2013-2014 school year, I’d have a good chance of getting a paid internship for the Summer of 2014, which would hopefully lead to a full-time position upon graduation in 2015.

Well, I had a life-changing experience in February which made me realize what I really want to do. You can read about it on my personal blog. In short, I realized that I wanted to go start my own non-profit. Actually I think this was meant to be my career path all along because I’ve never really found that I defined success in terms of money or position. Yet, I am in the business school at my university. I just want the satisfaction that my work is affecting people’s lives, for the better.

So my new plan was: Summer 2013 corporate internship, Winter 2013 non-profit internship, Summer 2013 internship that would lead to a full-time position while gaining some more experience before I dived into starting my own organization. I’m glad things worked out the the way they did in Hong Kong. Although it was a great experience, I learned that it was not the perfect match with my personal goals and it has pushed me to go out there and follow through with what I really want to do.

Now my goal is to get some more experience in the non-profit world, especially in start-up organizations that share the same causes as me. I need to meet people who share my vision, and maybe I’ll find a small group of dedicated people who would be willing to take that leap of faith with me and start our own non-profit.

I wrote way too much on this! And I need to leave soon. Today I wrap up some administrative things before I leave tomorrow morning! I have a long flight and layover so I hope to catch up on some photo editing and blogs about random things in Hong Kong. I know most of my readers are more interested in my travels and sightseeing. Don’t worry, there’s still a little more even though my trip is nearly over.

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