Hi, LittleFinders! I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend, and if you are looking for a show to binge on, I highly recommend you get caught up with Queen of The South, as season 2 premieres on June 8th at 10 pm, and you don’t want to miss it. Queen of the South is one of my favorite shows because Teresa Mendoza, the main character is a badass. She knows what she wants and takes on any situation no matter what. Based on her character and how she #slays it in a men’s world, I thought about my own story that I wanted to share with you. So sit back and see how I’m slowly working my way to being the #Queenofbeingagirboss
My TV production teacher gave me an application for a summer internship at a media company in town. I didn’t fill it out, the last day to submit it came by and my teacher called my house. I figured this was probably important, so I sent it in, but I didn’t think much of it. Fast forward a week later, and I had an interview. What do I wear? I don’t even drive! Mom, HELP ME! I borrowed an old suit from my mother that was at least 20 years old, I was wearing white Candies open toe shoes and my black long hair was up to my waste. My mother, brother and I headed to the interview. When I got there, my heart was beating so fast. I had very little information and I’d never had a job before.
Suddenly here I was about to walk into this huge media company (mom are you sure you can’t come in with me?) My brother and mom wish me luck and waited for me in the car. I walked into what seemed a gigantic building. I slowly approached the receptionist and in a soft-spoken voice told him what I was there for. He knew who I was and handed me an application. Wait, what? I have an Interview already, I don’t need to fill out an application. I played it cool, sat down and started filling it out. Laila you can do this, how hard can it be. “Please fill in you SS #” Lord. I don’t know my social security number. While this might sound dumb to many of you, I had just moved from Mexico 3 years prior and to be honest, I just never used it, nor did I carry it on me, because my mom didn’t think I was responsible enough and to be honest neither did I.
I again played it cool and told the receptionist I needed to run to my car really quick. Boy did I run. My mom said she just saw my long black hair flying from side to side, as I approached her and yelled “What’s my social security number?” Ha! Thinking of that truly makes me laugh out loud. 20 minutes later things were cool. I went up to HR. The lady that interviewed me was extremely nice, and after what I felt was a good interview I got a 40-hour 12-week internship. HUH? But what about my plans of sleeping in until twelve all summer?
The summer was interesting. I had no desk, no car, not much to do at first. The most I looked forward to was my lunch hour. Just like Teresa Mendoza would, I knew I needed to take matters into my own hands. I decided I would start asking people if they needed help. Slowly I started getting responsibilities and people trusted me. I felt so grown up, here I was working on things that mattered. I knew then media is where I belonged. Fast forward 14 years and I am now a supervisor at the department where I started as an intern. I never left. After my first summer I asked if I could intern in the fall, then spring, and again summer. I figured as long as they didn’t kick me out, I wasn’t going anywhere except up. I killed it, I I worked really hard every day no matter what my task was. Whether I was doing filing or editing a T.V. commercial I was 100 percent all in.
My promotion came less than a month ago, fourteen years later, after that first interview. It was surreal, something I had been working towards for almost half of my life was actually happening and honestly, I ask myself every day how? How did a girl who started out as an intern and didn’t know her social security, move her way up the corporate ladder? When I truly break it down I think it comes down to three things, work ethic, paying my dues, and faking it until I made it.
- I come from parents who always instilled hard work in us. They taught us to respect everyone, whether it was the janitor or the VP of the company. I still do that and boy does it feel good. For me being a nice genuine person is one of the best feelings you can have because no one can take that away from you. People can say bad things about you, but no one will believe them because they always will remember how you treated them.
- I never saw any task as too small for me. To be honest I still don’t. If I am asked to grab lunch for the crew, help out with a report, or go take the company cars to get oil changes, I do it. At the end of the day, I am grateful for having a career and a job that I love. Remember to be humble, it goes a long way.
- Fake it until you make it. So cliche, yet so true. If I didn’t know how to do something I figured it out. I still do, plus one of the things I found out throughout my 14 years of transitioning from intern to supervisor was, that there are people who are willing to help you. Find mentors in your life, and if someone doesn’t want to help you, move on to the next person. There is someone out there who does.
For me when I watch Queen of the South, I see a fearless, hardworking, confident woman. That’s the same feeling I get every day when I walk into the office and get to sit in my big personal cubicle. Teresa Mendoza doesn’t have all the answers and neither do I. Sure I am still learning, but my fourteen years of hard work have paid off and I’m on the path to be the Queen of being a Girlboss! Check out the video below for some more tips on being like Teresa Mendoza!
Until next time LittleFinders!