4 Things I Wish Google Told Me About Applying for an Internship

A few years ago I sat wide-eyed at my computer eagerly skimming through google results for “How to Make a CV”, “How to Write a Resume” and “What’s the Difference between a CV and a Resume?”. I knew nothing about internships other than the fact that I supposedly needed one. As a law student that still didn’t know if I liked law, an internship meant not only a notch on my (at the time, nonexistent) resume, but also the valuable opportunity to figure out if I was riding my indifferent-but-interested bike down the right path.

Since then, I’ve had three different internships at two different law firms and, while that certainly doesn’t make me an “expert intern” (thankfully, because that doesn’t sound like an appealing job title), I do think I’ve learnt a few things that I would have been happy to have casually read during the weeks leading up to my first job.

  1. Applying is not as easy as it should be

This one is for the gals like me who tried a “How to Apply for an Internship”-esque Google search and quickly realised that a lot of the answers were not exactly relevant. Living in a small, Caribbean island, I get this a lot when I turn to trusty google for (life, love, work) advice and I’d imagine that the same applies to those coming from small towns. Advice like, “check the company’s website for information on their internship scheme” is just not applicable. I’m yet to find a local firm that has information about internships on their website (although it would be embraced with open arms!). Something as simple as finding the email address to send your CV to can end up being a similar venture to cracking the DaVinci Code. My advice: always assume that a company takes on interns. Don’t send an e-mail unless your CV is attached – no one has the time to respond saying, “Yes we take on interns, can you send your CV?”. And if your mum’s boss’s bank teller knows the lady that does the photocopying, contact her and ask her, with all the cherries on top, to help you get in touch with whoever it is that deals with applications.

2. Don’t be afraid to make phone calls

I hate calling people. I’m not sure how common this phobia is and therefore this point might be here just for my benefit. But I say it all the time, I would gladly send 6 emails, two texts and a raven before I pick up the phone. I can almost get away with this as the world seems to be moving further and further away from telephone communication. However, it’s no secret that you can usually achieve more in a thirty second phone call than you can in four emails back and forth. When it comes to finding out who to send your CV to (as discussed above), checking on whether its been received and inquiring as to when you should expect to hear back from them, the phone call will always be the most effective tool. If you are a fellow member of the Phone Phobia Club then maybe try this embarrassing thing I do where I write down my opening sentence and bullet points of what I want to achieve during the call before dialling.

3. Follow Up

Ok, this one Google told me. But I didn’t want to listen. I remember saying, “But I don’t want to be annoying!” when my family urged me to make a call asking about the status of my application when a couple months had passed without being contacted by a firm. When I eventually made a call to HR, it turned out that they had sent me an email offering me a placement a month back that had went straight to my junk box. If I hadn’t made that call, I would have assumed that they weren’t interested in me and they would have assumed that I rudely ignored their offer.

4. Interview Prep is Overrated

Before my first intern-interview I probably read twenty articles and drove my mother absolutely mad begging her to help me decide what my “biggest weakness” was (I think we settled on “indecisiveness”). When I was actually in the interview, all the questions I was asked were ones I didn’t need to think twice about. Being an intern and not a potential employee, they mainly centred around the courses I was taking at school, my areas of interest and points on my resume. Of course this won’t be the same at every company, but I found that even the “hard” questions were so much easier to answer when I wasn’t thinking about what Google told me the right answer was.

It goes without saying that applying for the internship is “just the beginning”. However, in some cases, it might just be the hardest part. Get past the pleasantries and procedures of the application process and I promise that the intern experience will be well worth it (if not for you, at least for your CV).

Entrancing Things etc.

Entranced. I’ve been trying to think of that word all day and as soon as I put my cursor to the text box it came out of my fingers like diarrhea. (Sorry for using the D-word but really there’s no other way to describe it. Suggestions are welcome.)

image

entrance 2 |enˈtrans|verb [ trans. ] (often be entranced): fill (someone) with wonder and delight, holding their entire attention.

I’ve been entranced by so many things recently in the most heavenly way. I’ve realized that once you make up your mind that something is beautiful there’s no turning back (NB: this does not apply to ex boyfriends who become forever ugly about 6 months post-breakup).Once you find something that makes your insides feel like they’re taking part in the final scene of Dirty Dancing, the more you surround yourself with those things – the more you’re being lifted in the air by Patrick Swayze.

image[2]

For me those things currently include the sunlight right before the sun begins to set, the feeling I get post-gym but pre-Snickers and flowers, any and all flowers, amongst other things. Hence, I was completely and undoubtedly entranced during my 4:30pm ‘scenic route’ drive home from the gym today. Filled with wonder and delight, my surroundings holding my entire attention. How did I not crash my car?

Until next time,

Taylor

Insta Issues and Halloween Horrors

Halloween month is over, happy November! 
Sushi Halloween Costume

Although my Halloween celebrations turned out to be rather unsuccessful, my costume (self-praisingly) did not. After three weeks of a little bit of work here and there and a subconscious desire to eat it, I finally got to strut my California Roll stuff (all around the house).

Mine is a tear-jerking tale that began last week when an unexpected work call left me without a Shrimp Nigiri date for our intended Halloween party and ended this Saturday when some bad chicken followed by a surplus of signs left me in costume, in character… and in a mild state of depression when we ended up not leaving the house.

My dilemma was a modern version of the classic ‘if a tree falls’ query: if you spend three weeks making a Halloween costume and then no one ever sees it, did you really make it? 

In this fast-paced, technologically-driven, social media-lovin’, sushi-craving world, there was one unprecedented question on my mind:

Can I still post a picture of my costume on Instagram?

Opportunities to wear a sushi costume, as you can imagine, are few and far between. A brainstorming session on possible upcoming occasions where this attire would be suitable resulted in little success and the picture I had just taken looked up at me, begging to be filtered.

This picture of our pre-Halloween night swiftly became a picture of us chillin’ at home dressed like our fav foods. Would it still be normal to show the world what I could have done tonight?

If I wanted to take this to a whole new, unrelated, totally far-fetched and not the same, level – it is almost (not at all) like posting a picture of you in your wedding dress after you Maggie Carpenter-ed it outta there on the big day.

However, I definitely posted it. Stay at home or go out on the town – it’s my costume and I can wear it, bake in it, take pictures in it, swim in it, wear it to uni and, sure as hell, Instagram it!

Bougainvillea And now that October is over and November is here, I find it difficult to be upset that I didn’t celebrate one holiday when my very favourite one is quickly sneaking up on us. Down here, the leaves don’t turn brown or orange and the temperatures don’t drop by the dozen but the air is crisp and the breeze has more of the cool ocean in it than at any other time. I’m happy to have two new sushi-shaped tables and a whole lot of pretty things around me.

image[2]

Until next time,

Taylor

 

Weekends Now VS Weekends Then

Sunset in OctoberThe sun was sad to go last Friday. She took her sweet time getting outta here –  showing off a bit on her way out. I was also sad for the sun to go. I wasn’t quite done with my week. We only get two days off of real life per week – shouldn’t we be able to decide when we want them? I have no idea who decided the logistics of the whole weekend thing. Who decided only two days? Who decided that we wait precisely five days before we get them? Who decided that Saturday should have the audacity to have one more syllable than every other day? And who gave this mysterious person the right to make all of these decisions on my behalf? (I know there are actual answers to the majority of these questions but I am not interested in them)

AKA I did nothing Friday night.

Yacht Club

Saturday & Sunday, on the other hand, were beautiful. No couch-traveling was done this weekend as we, instead, lapped up the gifts of home. Blue skies, white sands and other cliches we usually take for granted were embraced and 300 episodes of Drugs Inc. were watched (I’m basically part of the D.E.A.).

WednesdayOne thing that I continually notice is how the way you approach the same experience drastically changes as you get older. It’s only obvious that you won’t have the same reaction to or appreciation for something when you’re 9 as you do when you’re 13, or then as you do when you’re 20.

For example, on Saturday morning we (somehow/magically/apparently/not sure if this really happened) took a walk through Bridgetown, Barbados’ capital. It involves busy streets, window displays, beautiful architecture, multiple Chefettes (you must understand its beauty if you’re going to truly envision this scene I’m painting for you), history and snow cones. However, when I was 8 a trip to town meant my mother was going to make me put on my sneakers and hold her hand for four hours. It involved very loud noises, dirty bathrooms and, sometimes, a pack of Pokemon cards if I went the whole day without hiding from her and thinking it was funny. It pretty much still involves all of these things except instead of Pokemon cards I get a fun new water bottle. However, something I used to dread to my core now gets me more excited than most things. I no longer tell my mother I’m going to jump in the Careenage and swim home if we don’t leave in 30 seconds but, instead, pose for pictures next to it.

Rum Punch

Similarly, a day at The Barbados Yacht Club no longer means my grandmother forcing me to eat chicken nuggets but, instead, perfect bliss (and rum punch).

In The KitchenSunday Breakfast

And Sunday mornings are less about the fact that there’s nothing good on TV (because “One Saturday Morning” only came on ABC on Saturdays for obvious reasons that were not obvious when I was 5) or that I haven’t done any homework all weekend and it’s due tomorrow (even though it should still be very much about this but I’ve decided I take school off on weekends) and is more about the fact that I know how to make crepes. And I know how to eat them. And crepes are yummy.

Catamaran ViewThey’re also about relaxing; and isn’t it so wonderful that we enjoy relaxing?! When I was 10 I hated “relaxing”… and naps, and sweet potatoes and the news. All things that are now in my top ten wonders of life.

Blue MorningsSo for a few minutes this weekend I thought about how maybe it’s a great thing that I’ve gotten older because there are things I enjoy now that I wouldn’t then…

…But then I thought about jumping into a pile of Beanie Babies while listening to “If You Wanna Be My Lover” and sucking on a ring pop and telling my friends that if they don’t come over they won’t be invited to my birthday party and I realized that no. While 20 is beautiful because with it comes an appreciation and an understanding of things around you, it doesn’t compare to jumping into a pile of Beanie Babies.

Until next time,

Taylor

Weekend Travels

Sea

Another week in paradise has zoomed by. I have to admit I’m a lover of Thursdays. On Thursdays you feel the excitement of being so close to the weekend (tomorrow’s Friday!) but with zero of the high expectations that come with them (it’s Friday – why am I at home? Why does no one love me?). As a result, I can happily (tomorrow’s Friday!) sit here with my Contract Law textbook and blog-fingers without any remorse for my sorrowful social life. I save that bad boy for tomorrow.

I have been so busy doing nothing (i.e. too busy doing things that aren’t interesting enough to blog about) to find time to blog. Although I had a beautiful weekend my camera was MIA and we all know that a blog without pictures becomes a blah-g.

Selfie

So, applying the already-established Couch-Travelling equation (quantity of time + cash + energy + luck = your pretend vacay) – this weekend’s went something like this:

medium cash (/luck because it wasn’t really mine) + much time + much energy + luck =

Friday in Italy & Saturday in Canada 

Mama MiasI have a constant fear of FOMO (“fear of missing out” for anyone not fluent in unnecessary, hip abbreviations) and Friday nights tend to be a trigger. Last Friday we last-minute decided to become un-kept up with the Kardashians and, instead, have a nice, long-as-possible dinner at Mama Mia Italian Deli.

Mama Mia’s has always been a favourite of mine, mainly because it is entirely charming and also very yummy (and Italian). However, it became instantly obvious on our arrival that Mama has really stepped her game up! It is now Mama’s 2.0 and as fabulous as ever. The menu has gone from a 15 page dilemma for someone like me who has issues deciding what colour highlighter to use to a precise few pages of pure deliciousness, the walls and the colours are revamped and (unknown until after dinner) its website, Facebook page and social media are on fire.

The waiter was lovely, food fantastic  & atmosphere to die for (the wine/mojito combination may or may not have enriched my experience). If you’re here and you’ve never been – go! If you have – go again (it’s Mama 2.0)!

Saturday MorningSaturday began as seen above but ended quite differently. I am grateful that at 20 years old I can celebrate a new holiday for the very first time because that means there are always “firsts” to look forward to. Apparently that’s the type of thing you say on Thanksgiving, which we celebrated on Saturday. I still know nothing about this holiday except that there’s a turkey involved, that same-said turkey takes very long to cook, and that it made me feel fuzzy inside. During the day I pealed potatoes, drank tea and smelt pies and at night I drank too much wine, spent time with lovely people and ate pies. Overall, I’d say Canada at Thanksgiving is a pretty alright place and I’d be quite happy to return this time next year.

That just about wraps up last weekend’s travels. This weekend’s itinerary is empty so far but, hopefully, somewhere exciting falls in my lap.

Until next time,

Taylor

Ghosts of Halloweens Past

Welcome to October! To steal a very thought provoking question from approximately 55% of my Facebook friends and 75% of the people I follow on twitter: Where has the year gone? I am struggling to wrap my head around the fact that we are already in the ber‘s! (Is it too early for me to be excited for Christmas? Don’t answer that.)

Cafe

As I try my best to stop myself from humming Last Christmas in the shower and make an effort to only pin Christmas crafts to “secret boards”, I’ve started channelling my energy towards another fabulously superficial holiday, i.e. Halloween. I’m not sure exactly what it is about this day that has allowed it to sneak its way into my heart and steal the position of Second Best Time of The Year (one guess at the reigning champion) but I’ve always been a die-hard Halloween junkie. There’s a chance it could be related to the abundance of chocolate, the extra ammunition for procrastination and the opportunity to critically examine the creativity of my “peers” but, most likely, it’s a genetic disorder stemming from my mother’s obsession with/exquisite appreciation for the occasion.

I had said that this blog was to be about the things that keep me busy and, lately, because I’ve been left with only my sister to play with this last week and she’s not interested, that’s been Halloween. Because I can’t share with you what I have planned for this year’s get-up (oh, it’s good), I thought I’d share a few easy costume ideas from my past that might spark your early-bird Hallowplanning (or just make you cringe… either way).

1. Girl-Group Go-To:

Ninja Turtles

We’ve always leaned away from the “excuse to be slutty” and towards the “excuse to make people realize we’re pretty damn cool” Halloween costume. This Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume from a couple years ago was pretty easy to put together and won us a $500 bar tab. So basically the two things you want to deal with on October 31st.

The only difficult-ish part of the costume was the shell which we had no idea how to approach. Luckily, one of the turtle’s had the strings to pull to get each of us our very own shell-cushion. We attached them to our backs just like a backpack. The shirts cost $10, we stuck our “turtle abs” felt cut-outs on, personalized the belts and face masks and that’s pretty much the end.

2. The Costume To Avoid:

china

This was a good one. Said no one ever except my mum.

Mulan was the latest Disney Princess and the had-to-have hairstyle of the time was paper.

3. The Coolest Costume:

Mum Ice

(Got the cool joke?)

It was as easy as shiny material, a logo off an empty bag of ice and a piece of string. Ingenious, hilarious and ridiculously easy. This costume has to be one of my all time favourites, I’m just waiting until I reach a suitable age to pull off the bloomer-type shorts and puffy turtle neck.

A good Halloween costume, in my (no) expertise (whatsoever), calls for something that makes people go:

“How smart!”, “How funny!”, “How did they do that?”, or “How didn’t I think of that?”

Or maybe that’s just me trying to sound like I know something. Either way, they’re not bad things to hear, right?

Until next time,

Taylor.

That Birthday Blog

Now comes the post you can only ever do once a year — the good old birthday post.

20 is a big deal… right? That’s what I’ve heard anyways. However, I’ve decided that (due to uncontrollable attachments to my youth) I’m going to adopt the age twenteen until I grow mature enough to leave the beloved suffix behind (if that ever happens). And, in keeping with the theme of savoring my teens, I surely had a wonderful last weekend as one…

Insta

Being Stranded on an Island RULE NO.1: Since you can’t actually leave, pretend to as often as possible. 

Rule #1 is far-stretching and ambiguous. This is because everyone’s couch-travelling itinerary will differ with the insertion of different variables. These variables include: time, cash and energy (one or two sometimes interchangeable with luck). For example:

  • medium time + little cash + little energy = watching a movie that takes you to the destination of your choice (think a night in Paris, Cannes and the French countryside via Meg Ryan’s French Kiss
  • medium time + medium cash + medium energy (in my case, a lot of luck usually replaces energy) = a beautiful themed dinner (lucky me has travelled to Italy, France, Greece and India via miraculous meals made by the better half)

A stay-cation is the ultimate at-home-get-away and usually involves the ultimate equation: high degrees of every variable. However, last weekend we were fortunate enough to replace the high volume of cash usually required with a good set of luck.

a little peek of one of the views at Royal Westmoreland, Barbados

a picturesque golf course view at Royal Westmoreland, Barbados

That equation added up to a weekend at the glamorous Royal Westmoreland. Westmoreland can be found on the top of St. James on the West Coast of the island and is known world wide for its topnotch golf course and star-studded villa owners. Although we (young couple celebrating a 20th birthday) did not fit into the its usual clientele, we definitely had no problem pretending that we did. Lunch at the Club House, being dragged around the golf course (I had to wear a collared shirt) and a beautiful place to sleep really didn’t leave me with much to complain about (which is actually a miracle in itself). It was the ideal setting for us to become tourists in our home for a quick little weekend doing all the things you should always do when you visit somewhere new:

1. That Fancy-Smancy Dinner:

Birthday

Featuring: a bottle of red, high heels, sticky toffee pudding, personalized birthday messages, sparkling candles, Marilyn Monroe artwork, deep conversation. 

2. That (Failed) Cultural Escapade:

Cherry Tree

A drive through the country side, hopes to explore history, pretty views, the realization of Saturday closures. 

3. That ‘Night on The Town’:

Fishy

collage

Steak and chips, rum punches, dominoes, bottle of red (encore appearance), red lippy, cigars, cocktails with scary names, live bands, free entry, juke boxes, dance parties (private & public), shots, 3AM food runs, puffer fish who enjoy fancy fruit, last calls. 

4. That Cozy Day In:

Movies

DVD players that don’t play burnt DVD’s, coke in a can, Julia Robert’s cravings, $5 for a rental, popcorn on the stove. 

If I stumble upon any one of those four type of days on a weekend it automatically becomes a fabulous weekend. So imagine my glee when I happened to have all four in one. My birthday weekend managed to tick off every requirement on the perfect, well-rounded, made-in-heaven weekend check list and from now on weekends will never be the same.

I’m not sure yet if that’s because I’ve gotten a taste of magical-weekend-pie and all others will now be pathetic in comparison or if it’s because I’m no longer a teenager and now my weekends will be filled with responsibility and cleaning. I guess we’ll have to find out.

Fridge

Until next time,

Taylor

    

To-Did List: Sunrises and Long Drives

I tend to be full of phrases that begin with: “One weekend we should so…” But that’s as far as my elaborate plans usually go. I think I more enjoy exciting words coming out of my mouth than I do actually executing exciting things (but that’s another post on its own).

So a couple months ago I had the grand idea of forcing myself to execute these ideas. (I got the inspiration from somewhere on the net and I would send you over there right now if I had any idea how to re-find it.)

I wrote each forever-lovely adventure idea on a popsicle stick and stuck them all in a jar. Each weekend we’d pull one out and have no choice but to begin a new adventure.

Last weekend, after two months of dust-collecting, the jar received its first visit and we pulled our first adventure:

sunrise stick

Not impressed. As good of an idea as this seemed at the time of its conception, I know that waking up at 5 am is just not fun. Hence why I would never actually do it… unless a popsicle stick told me to.

Saturday morning the alarms went off at 5am and after a few minutes of should we actually get up‘s we decided that the popsicle’s word was law and if we didn’t wake up we were officially not fun. We skipped coffee (something one should never do) and headed out on a journey to the East Coast where we could actually see the sun wake up. Island life comes in handy at times like this where we can get from the West Coast to the East in 15 minutes. Being on the West Coast we’re blessed with beautiful sunsets every day but that means that sunrises are not our specialty. Unaware of the logistics of it all, seeing that the sky had become a much lighter shade of black we decided the sun had already risen. We sat in the car on the top of a hill and looked over the East Coast…

image

The world was quiet and dim. Although I admired the serenity, I couldn’t help but wonder why it wasn’t pretty and colourful. We sat there like that admiring the sunrise for a good 20 minutes before the sun actually started to rise… It made more sense then.

Everyone knows that everything (except for me) looks that much prettier in the early morning light. Our drive along the East Coast could not have been a better example (of things being pretty and me not so much):

          sunrise boat   boat

The East Coast of Barbados sits comfortably between unspoiled green hills and the roaring Atlantic Ocean, far away from the hotels, wi-fi hotspots and hagglers of the South and West Coasts. Tourists will come to the island time and time again without ever seeing the true essence of Barbadian beauty found on the East. It’s underrated, untouched and undoubtedly one of my favourite parts of this rock.

IMG_1365

I couldn’t help but notice on our two hour drive around nowhere that it’s funny how, with lovely lighting and the right person, you can drive the same roads you’ve driven time and time again but see them for the very first time. 

I'm a sucker for illustrations

I’m a sucker for illustrations

Here’s my 5-10am Saturday drive. We almost made it around the whole thing didn’t we? Next time. The moon was our fake sunrise, the sun the real one and the pink spots all the other places we spent our time.

So if my little popsicle stick could make me do all of these shananigans before 10AM – what could yours do? If you’re lazy, procrastinate and prefer to watch Pawn Stars all day than to actually leave your bed but you dream of someday actually doing something somewhere outside then you should probably go get some popsicle sticks (and then become my BFF because you’re me).

Until next time

Taylor

1200th Time’s a Charm…

I’d say maybe every six months I find myself here again.

Maybe not “here” here — but somewhere in cyber space. Typing my heart out to an unknown (and usually nonexistent) audience, welcoming them to the blog I’m about to start (really this time, I promise) and ending it with a side note that I have no idea what it will be about but hopefully it’ll “just come to me”. Three months later I remember that I started it, find it, delete it, hope no one I know ever read it.

Perhaps I have deep issues rooted somewhere down in my psyche that prevent me from keeping promises to myself. Perhaps it started somewhere around the first dozen Neopets I forgot to feed even after all the Neo-points I invested in them. Perhaps I am just idea-less and looking for an excuse. Perhaps perhaps.

So this time – no promises. I’ll be straight up with you:

I’d like to start a blog. I’d like it to be about the fun things I do, dinners I eat, books I read and shenanigans I come up with to keep myself busy on the little Caribbean island I call home whilst my friends are away and my poor boyfriend is stuck putting up with me all day. I’d like to post lovely things and I’d like to do so frequently. I’d like to think I can do this.

Maybe the absence of formality and lack of promises will bring me back here soon. Fingers crossed.

sea

Until next time?

Taylor