You've Got The Light

You've Got The Light

A Small Thank You to a Great Example

When people see light, they either gravitate towards it or they reject it; there is simply is no in between.

 

Courtesy of thenextweb.com

 

Those words have resonated deeply with me since I heard them during an informational interview late last week. As part of a requirement for TWC, we are responsible for conducting, at a minimum, two informational interviews with the intention of exploring a potential career path. After my informational interview, I was left with the urge to explore not only a new career path but, a whole new plan of approaching life and its curveballs. I had the pleasure of interviewing Julie Wenah, a colleague of my professor and an advocate of playing big. We started off with matters of fact and concrete decision making.


In stark contrast to other advice I've heard since being in D.C., Julie fully supports the idea of pursuing a law degree. As someone with a J.D. and a Masters of Laws (L.L.M.) in the works who doesn't actually practice law, she still attributes so much of her problem-solving abilities to that educational background. Everyone I have asked recently has told me that, unless I plan to practice law, I shouldn't pursue the indebting endeavor of attending law school. Julie couldn't disagree more. Law school has exercised her brain in such a way that she now sees things differently and, because of that, is able to critically think towards solutions in her current position as a Counselor and Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce.


Among her decorated list of professional experiences, Julie served as a policy intern in the office of the First Lady. With this internship, she was able to reveal to me the importance of coming up for air only once you know that the work is done. As an intern, Julie moved through her tasks, ceaselessly ensuring that others knew that she was the helping hand willing to rise above to the occasion without being asked. She taught me that dedication and adamancy can help doors for you to form relationships with people that can last even once your time at your internship is up.


I was also able to understand the value and balance in remaining humble but never playing small. In Julie's eyes, we were created to think big, play big and impact big. The opportunity to become a public servant and advocate on behalf of someone who would otherwise go unspoken for is invaluable. That is the opportunity that Julie has felt the most rewarded by in her lifetime.


It's so easy for us to discount ourselves. It's so easy for us to think that we aren't smart enough or lack the ability to accomplish x, y, and z. But in this interview that was only supposed to teach me about matters of economic development, I learned to put an end to that self-deprecating rhetoric that I find myself agreeing with all too often.


We all have the light and the ability to do anything that we set our minds to. Although not everyone we come in contact with in our lives will fully support that light's ability to shine, we shouldn't ever alter our ambitions as a result.


Julie, thank you for helping me understand the importance of working hard and operating in love. I'll continue to keep so many of your thoughts and insights in mind as I attempt to navigate my way through the rest of school and towards a rewarding career in advocacy and public service.

Read Briana's previous blog posts

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

Learn More