A Surprising & Lovely Side Effect of Completing My Final Self Review

In the first couple of months at LifeSci, I vowed to write a series of three blog posts. Somewhere in the midst of eight months, I got caught up with the work and only wrote one. Well…I drafted another, but I didn’t love where it was going. So, in the wise words of Meat Loaf, two out of three ain’t bad—right?

I sat down today to fill out my “Final Co-op Performance Review Form” which has been sitting in my inbox for a week, taunting me with its bolded unread subject line. I looked at the first bullet and felt stunted by the classic question, “what areas do you feel you learned the most about/had the most experience with?”. By the time I got to the third bullet, asking about what I had achieved from January to August, I started to feel a little accomplished and truly began to reflect on my time here. It appears that I’ve done quite a bit.

I don’t want to do one of the typical, “what I learned from XYZ” blogs—don’t get me wrong, they’re great and certainly informative, but I’d rather spend my time writing about what I’m genuinely passionate about: people.

While I am a naturally reflective and emotional person, I don’t have the easiest time expressing myself. I find writing to be my truest form of expression. When my voice fails me, I return to the written word to save me from what I feel I lack verbally. It’s something of a nostalgic and traditional practice for me.

Accordingly, when faced with the prompt to “provide any feedback about working with certain peers/supervisors/teams, etc.,” I took this opportunity to reflect and express gratitude for the people who have made my co-op experience a true pleasure.

I really do feel fortunate to work closely with the people I have in my eight months here. The diversity of knowledge and skill at LifeSci is what makes this place so special.

One of my mentors has been an instrumental resource to my success at this company. I strongly believe she has mastered the balance of creating a disarming and welcoming presence whilst providing proficient expertise.

Another colleague showed me that even in professional settings, humans are humans. She has been an ever-present confidant and advocate of my work as well as my personal growth.

One particular senior-level colleague at LifeSci is quite literally the office cheerleader. He has taken me under his wing since the beginning of my co-op, providing me a multitude of opportunities, words of encouragement, and skills to strengthen my media expertise. If I’m having a bad day, a joke or a quick call can make me feel better. He has an exceptional amount of knowledge to give, which is evident in his passion to help the agency, while also making the effort to be personal and caring with everyone regardless of their seniority.

Another colleague’s passion for science and expertise in PR never fails to impress me. In our first internal meeting he came across strong, determined to have me learn and understand the company’s science. Since that day, he has always taken opportunities to stop his work and take the time to teach both myself and others. He is consistently eager to extend his knowledge so everyone at the company is well-informed and capable of working to the best of their ability. His decisiveness and steadfast commitment to his own personality inspires me as an individual who tries to stay true to herself in every environment.

What I found after my reflection was that I was on the verge of tears thinking about leaving these people and what they have gifted me.

Sappy, I know.

I think it’s safe to say that at 20, I’m still unsure of exactly what I’d like to do in life; however, I’m confident that I want to work with people who make me feel the way I have here. And I have all of you to thank you for that! So, thank you very much. I should only hope that my future holds such caring and inspiring co-workers.