A Student’s Journey

Jul 12, 2023

by Sara Abdi, Marketing Intern

Have you ever jumped into a lake in early May? When the first tease of summer weather comes around
and it gets so unbearably hot you forget that not so long ago that lake was frozen. Once you jump in, the
cool sensation takes over, making you feel out of breath, almost like you’re drowning. Then after a minute your body adjusts and the shock is gone. Now you’re enjoying the cool water on a scorching hot day. That is how I would describe the feeling of being thrown into the real world.

I have been in school since I was 6 years old, and by the age of 16 I had to decide on my career path
which would dictate the rest of my life. By the time I was 18 I was living through a pandemic, graduating high school with this idea of a career in marketing. I honestly do not think I knew exactly what marketing
was — I am not sure if today at 21 I would be able to tell you exactly what it is. I jumped from high school
to starting university online, trying to navigate a whole new world of schooling on my laptop in my childhood bedroom. Then suddenly the world started shifting back to normal. I was back at school trying
to absorb what marketing was and learning about the business world through 3 hour lectures. Next thing I
knew I had finished my third year of university in what seems to have been a blink of an eye, I moved away from home and started a job in marketing. The world seems to move a lot faster once you
enter adulthood.

School and work are drastically different worlds. Luckily, I prepared myself for that. I knew that what I
learned in school was just a basis of general knowledge and a blank understanding of what I would be
doing in the future. This would become my opportunity to build on that base, expand my knowledge,
develop skills, and start my understanding of the vast world of real-world marketing.

Young Sara jumping in a playground

My first week at Lakeland Networks was a whirlwind. My mind was spinning with 500 different ideas and projects. I thought to myself, “What have you done Sara, what have you gotten yourself into.” Yet, I came into my second week calm and levelheaded. I organized myself in a manner that would help me succeed for the entire summer. Since then, I have been involved in many different tasks and aspects of marketing. From creating artwork and videos to writing blogs, managing our social media platforms, and photography. I organize, plan, and execute a multitude of different things. Instead of becoming an expert in one subcategory of marketing, I have been able to explore all different areas and create varied tool kit for any path my marketing career may lead me towards.

It can be frightening taking the first jump into the water. Luckily the cold doesn’t last long, and the swim is worth it. This summer started off with a lot of uncertainty and fear. Now I have a clear image and I am excited and hopeful for my future career. I am happy to know that I am headed in the right direction. I thank 16-year-old me for making this decision for me. I am grateful to Lakeland Networks for providing me with this opportunity to get a head start and a real feel for what the future has in store for me. I have made new friends, experienced a world of new things, and its only July. I have come to realize that the “field of marketing” is about ongoing adaptation and learning. My journey has many more mountains to climb and paths to take.

Photo of 4 Lakeland employees smiling in front of a lake