You know that movie with Jennifer Lopez where she is having her second chance at a career. Her second act? Yeah, I had that too, minus the hot boyfriend and awesome clothes. I am what the University calls “a mature student”. That means that I am slightly older than the rest of my class… This can bring some challenges beside the fact that you always feel a bit outdated. Don’t get me wrong, I love my class and I am so happy I have my friends in my life. I will cherish them for the rest of my life! However, there are some facts that I simply can’t escape. My pop-culture references are slightly older, different. I have lived it and learnt it when it comes to relationships, and I have several years of work experience behind me which affects my school experience and my work experience. It is kinda hard to be an intern or go out on placements at my age, when I have been a manager in my previous work life…oh, and I am also a foreigner which adds to some cultural confusion. With that in mind, I was pretty apprehensive about going out in my new country and intern. What if they thought I was some weird Scandinavian who had missed her chance in the publishing industry?
I was so eager to not miss out on anything and falling behind, that I went out on my first placement my first week at Uni! It is strange to intern as someone in their 30s because you can´t not know what you know and you do not want to come of like a know-it-all! However, it was my experience that it is what you make it to be. Perhaps I was lucky with my placement because they treated me really nice. They made me feel like I belonged and that I contributed to the company and that helps a lot when it comes to feeling welcomed and not like someone who is in their way asking a million questions (I did ask a million questions). What I can say is that my attitude helped me a lot. I was focused on gaining the most out of my placement, and that it was crucial that I represented myself in a way that I felt was true to myself and reflected well on my school. Although, I was new to most of the tasks I was asked to do at my placement, I realised that I benefited greatly from my previous work experiences and just the fact that I am in my 30s. I learned how vital it is to really put yourself out there and not be timid about your skills. I was so skilled in blending in that I overstayed my placement with 8 days… Turns out that I was only supposed to have been there for 3 days, but both my placement and I liked it so much I just kept coming back. So I also learned how important it is to make sure you know the details, because I really did not😊 The time I spent with my placement gave me both real work experience and contacts in Scotland, but also it made me aware of my own areas of improvement that I need to work on. We get more than one chance so just relax and enjoy the opportunity to learn and make mistakes.
To wrap this up, I just want to really encourage anyone in my age or older to really go for it. Do not feel like you do not belong because you do! Go to Uni even when everyone else is half your age and you feel like a hundred years old. It is all in your head anyway. It is never to late for a second or third act, just look at me.