A lot of very cool opportunities arise from being a blogger. Last year I was interviewed for an America magazine on education, had one of my photos used on the cover of a Danish book and became the poster-boy for the EEE department.
My last blog post was a quick update while I was killing time before badminton. I was thinking about how I’ve changed in my approached to work and then linked it back to my internship and the things I learnt there. I didn’t look over it nearly enough and I don’t think it was as amusing as what I could have produced, had I more time. Nevertheless, this quick post led to me standing in front of around 50 students in a big lecture theatre, talking about my experience at Apple.
To put it quickly, the lovely people in the Undergraduate office in my department read the blog post and thought that my words about internships might interest other students. Subsequently, those words appeared on the careers area of my departmental website. There also happened to be an internship talk soon, in which the aforementioned lovely people spoke to interested students about applications, CVs and all the tools necessary to land a profitable summer. Natural next step was to ask me to talk.
I know to a lot of you, this won’t seem particularly significant. Presenting in front of tens or even hundred of people is something that a lot of intelligent Imperial students are very good at. Dazzling the crowd with their majestic linguistic adroitness and phlegmatic vocals (yes, a thesaurus was used). I am not one of those people. In a small crowd I can hold my own, but I find that when presented with 19 people or more (hereby known as Chris’ constant), I tend to go silent. If forced into a situation where I am required to speak, my legs and hands begin to be driven at their resonant frequency and my eyes widen enough to permanently alter the width of my nose. In summary: “I get crazy nervous”.
This talk would only be five minutes and would effectively be me reciting the same thing I’ve told everyone I know, indirectly know and made eye contact with in the past 3 weeks, since working for Apple; so I really had no reason to be nervous. Even so, a small part of me always assumes the worst, so the idea of wetting myself, swearing and then running off crying mid-speech was, in my mind, becoming more feasible by the minute.
Fortunately it went really well. While I still adopted all the fidgeting and “rabbit in headlights” eyes I am accustomed to, I don’t think too many people noticed. Beginning the speech with: “Hi I’m Chris and I spent my summer working for a small fruit company called Apple” really did grab their attention and got me off to a good start.
It’s going to take a while to get me to relax when doing big talks, but it’s something I really need to get used to and is certainly something that anyone can achieve with practice. Plus, with all the things I am taking on this year, practice is certainly one thing I can certainly expect to get. As for the foul mouth and urination, they’re just risks I’ll have to take, one talk at a time.
Thanks for reading,